The Cincinnati Bengals have been an offensive force this season, fueled by Joe Burrow’s breakout season and Ja’Marr Chase’s sensational rookie season, but one key contributor has flown a bit under the radar.
Somewhat lost in Burrow rising MVP boards, Chase and Tee Higgins both racking up over 1,000 yards through the air and Joe Mixon rushing for a career-high 1,200 yards, Tyler Boyd has been the most reliable wide receiver in the NFL this season.
As NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala pointed out, Boyd’s 67 receptions without a drop this season are by far the most in the league.
As we (justifiably) talk so much about the #Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, let’s not lose this: Tyler Boyd’s 67 receptions w/out a single drop is BY FAR the most in the #NFL this year. (No. 2 is Randall Cobb who has 28 catches w/out a drop.) pic.twitter.com/RG6IFcBRUN
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) January 7, 2022
While Burrow, Chase, Higgins and Mixon dominate the headlines, Boyd is the lone holdover from the years before the aforementioned foursome joined the Bengals over the past few seasons. And while Boyd has taken somewhat of a backseat to his talented teammates, he’s no slouch.
In 16 games this season, Boyd has caught 67 passes (at a team-leading 71.3 catch percentage) for 828 yards and five touchdowns. It’s Boyd’s fourth consecutive season with at least 800 receiving yards — including back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2018-19.
The sure-handed target isn’t the flashy option that Chase or Higgins is, but Boyd is good for either throwing a ball up that needs to be hauled in or dumping a ball off that needs to be carried a few yards. It isn’t always glamorous, but Boyd has been the glue that holds the unit together.
Boyd has provided not only a safety blanket for Burrow but a veteran voice among the wide receivers at the ripe, old age of 27.
Boyd was selected in the second round of the 2016 NFL after a standout career at Pitt in which set program records in receptions and receiving yards with 254 catches for 3,361 yards in just three seasons — along with 21 touchdowns.
A Pittsburgh native through and through, Boyd committed to Pitt after a highly-successful run at Clairton in which he won Player of the Year and helped Clairton to record success.
While Boyd will need a huge game to crack the 1,000-yard plateau this season, without Burrow playing in the Bengals’ season finale, Chase and Higgins have both erupted for massive showings this season, so who’s to say Boyd isn’t next?