Thursday, October 11, 2012
Hartline, Welker and AFC East top targets
By James Walker
Miami Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline is on pace to put up career numbers this season. Why? Because Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has quickly made Hartline his favorite target.
Hartline is tied with New England Patriots Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker as the most targeted receiver in the AFC East. Tannehill has thrown to Hartline 50 times this season, which is an average of 10 times per game. Miami's pair has connected on 29 attempts.
Teams are becoming aware of this. After Hartline lit up the Arizona Cardinals with 12 receptions for 253 yards and a touchdown, the Cincinnati Bengals paid a lot more attention to Hartline. The Bengals held Hartline in check with just four receptions for 59 yards. He was targeted by Tannehill just five times.
Here are the AFC East leaders in targets thus far, according to ESPN Stats and Information:
- No. 1: Hartline, Dolphins, 50
- No. 2: Welker, Patriots, 50
- No. 3: Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills, 45
- No. 4: Brandon Lloyd, Patriots, 45
- No. 5: Santonio Holmes, New York Jets, 40