That’s right, everyone’s favorite 9th overall pick gets another opportunity to prove himself.
News of Tyler Boyd’s injury hit rather softly amongst Who Dey nation. Not because he is disliked but because it wasn’t a surprise, and quite frankly expected based off of how the season has gone so far.
As the Bengals are out of Tyler’s, they are also running out of receivers. So now the focus shifts to John Ross in these last two meaningless games against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. However, as he comes in as the WR1, should you expect anything different from the Ross connection?
Don’t get your hopes up just yet (I shouldn’t need to tell Bengals fans that anyways). Although Ross is probably the best receiver left on the team, the connection between Driskel and him (as well as extra attention from the defense) might be key factors in limiting Ross. Just like when Green went down, Boyd got extra defensive attention, and now Ross will probably see a little extra coverage his way.
Yes, Boyd was still able to produce against extra attention, but he: a) has a better connection with the QB, b) is used in a very different way than Ross, and c(\) was already a bigger part of the game-plan. Not to mention Boyd has just been on a whole ‘nother level this season, hitting 1000 yards on the year and being more reliable than all other Bengals receivers, especially on third down.
Bill Lazor has been trying to use Ross more (which I love) but it hasn’t worked out yet. But hey, at least they’re trying. And feeding him and Mixon will be the staple of the final two games.
Now, with more security on Ross it might be harder. Without a solid QB-WR Connection between Ross and Driskel; things could get ugly if they try to force it to him. Ross is also used mostly in deep shots down field (which I have no problem with, they should be doing that), but if Driskel overthrows the empire state building every play. Perhaps it’s better to run the ball and use short, quick passes and screens off of play action or a two step drop for poor Jeff.
So, if Ross doesn’t dazzle you these next two Sundays, don’t worry. He is still growing and getting involved with the Bengals game-plan. John Ross’ talent is there, it just needs to come together with the team.