Tee Higgins Needs More Touches, Opportunities in Cincinnati Bengals Offense

Tee Higgins Needs More Touches, Opportunities in Cincinnati Bengals Offense

Willie Lutz
3 years ago
2 min read
Tee Higgins Needs More Touches, Opportunities in Cincinnati Bengals Offense

Heading into the 2021 season, much was made of the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver tandem of Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and the second-year pass-catcher, Tee Higgins. Further, it seemed after a strong off-season and training camp, Higgins was ready to burst into stardom. 

However, through five weeks, the team hasn’t gotten the contribution fans might’ve expected from Higgins. 

Granted, he did miss back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars with a shoulder injury. 

Regardless of the injury, it seems curious that Higgins only has 15 catches for 150 yards and one touchdown. 

By no means are those numbers pedestrian across a three-game span, but given what Chase has provided to this Bengals offense, more targets to Higgins just seems logical. 

Currently ranking 60th in the league with 22 targets up to this point, it seems like it’s time to give Higgins a helping of looks. Joe Burrow has thrown 89 passes, meaning Higgins is being targeted at a 24.7% rate; that’s not a super low rate, but it just leaves a little to be desired.

Sure, Higgins is far from a slouch up to this point in the season, but he’s capable of breaking out for 100-plus yards with ease. Week Six Could Be a Break-Out For Higgins, Just as It Was in 2020.

Facing off with a Detroit Lions team lacking talent in their secondary in Week Six (primarily due to injuries), it’s time to feed Tee Higgins. After all, it was Week Six of his rookie year when Higgins exploded for 125 yards on six catches against the Indianapolis Colts, including a gorgeous 67-yard toss from Burrow. 

In that game, it was clear that Burrow was ready to weaponize his fellow rookie target. Up to this point, Burrow’s primary deep threat has been Ja’Marr Chase… which hasn’t been a bad option by any stretch of the imagination (Chase has quickly emerged as one of the league’s premier deep threats even as a 21-year-old rookie). 

Simply, it’s time for Zac Taylor, Joe Burrow, and this Bengals offense to diversify their passing threats. Lacking ample creativity up to this point in the season on offense, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to feed Higgins on a deep shot or two against the Lions. 

After all, the Lions rank dead-last among teams in PFF’s defensive coverage grading (29.4). It’s a tremendous opportunity for the Bengals to open up the vertical offense beyond just Chase. 

This team needs Higgins to be a big-time weapon, even with their rookie receiver playing at such a high level.

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