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Ja'Marr Chase by the numbers: Bengals rookie making NFL history

No rookie receiver has made the impact Ja'Marr Chase has this early in his career since Randy Moss took over the NFL in 1998 (and this includes Justin Jefferson's incredible start last year). Chase is dominating defenders as the first rookie in league history to have 700 yards through his first seven career games, catapulting the Cincinnati Bengals from one of the worst teams in the NFL to first place in the AFC North.


Chase finished with eight catches for 201 yards in Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens, becoming the first rookie receiver since Mike Evans to have 200 receiving yards in a game and the second-youngest player (behind Evans) to record that many receiving yards in a game.


Chase continues to rewrite the record books as he's one of the top-five receivers in the league, already ranking that high in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and yards per catch. In this week's edition of "By the Numbers," we're taking a look at Chase's historic start and the incredible pace based on how he's played through seven games.


NFL leaders -- receiving yards

  1. Cooper Kupp -- 809

  2. Ja'Marr Chase -- 754

  3. Davante Adams -- 744

  4. Deebo Samuel -- 648

  5. Tyreek Hill -- 641

NFL leaders -- yards per catch

  1. Ja'Marr Chase -- 21.5

  2. Henry Ruggs III -- 19.5

  3. Quez Watkins -- 19.3

  4. Bryan Edwards -- 19.2

  5. Julio Jones -- 17.7

NFL leaders -- receiving touchdowns

  1. Cooper Kupp -- 9

  2. Mike Evans -- 7

  3. DeAndre Hopkins -- 7

  4. Ja'Marr Chase -- 6

  5. D.K. Metcalf -- 6

  6. Marquise Brown -- 6

  7. Mike Williams -- 6

Chase is already amongst the best wideouts in the game this early in his career, showcasing his incredible talent and how the wide receiver position has evolved over the years. He's the first player since the merger to have 50-plus receiving yards in each of his first seven games and his tied for second in the league with 13 catches of 20-plus yards this season.


Chase is the only player in the NFL averaging over 20 yards per catch while also leading the league in yards per target at 14.8. He's third in the league in receiving yards per game (107.7). Chase leads the league in touchdowns of 30-plus yards (five), 40-plus yards (four), and 50-plus yards (three). He has the most 40-plus yard catches (six) and is fourth in yards from scrimmage amongst all players (752).


Chase's impact in games comes at the end of the first half. He leads the NFL in touchdowns (three) and receiving yards (233) in the final two minutes of the first half, and his five catches of at least 20 yards during that time period also lead the league.


The Bengals offense is second in the NFL in yards per pass play (9.22) and third in yards per play (6.2) thanks to the addition of Chase. Joe Burrow is tied for first in the league in 40-plus yard passing plays (eight) and tied for fourth in passing touchdowns (17), while his 108.9 passer rating is fifth in the league. Burrow has a 134.2 passer rating targeting Chase, second in the NFL amongst all players with 50-plus catches.

What Chase has been able to accomplish through seven games is unlike we've ever seen in league history.


Most receiving yards through first 7 games -- NFL history

  1. Ja'Marr Chase (2021)-- 754

  2. Harlon Hill (1954) -- 685

  3. Billy Howton (1952) -- 667

  4. Anquan Boldin (2003) -- 621

  5. Odell Beckham Jr. (2014) -- 609

Most receiving touchdowns through first 7 games -- since merger

  1. Martavis Bryant (2014) -- 7

  2. Ja'Marr Chase (2021) -- 6

  3. Randy Moss (1998) -- 6

  4. Charlie Brown (1982) -- 6

  5. Raymond Chester (1970) -- 6

  6. Marques Colston (2006) -- 6

  7. Willie Gault (1983) -- 6

  8. Eric Green (1990) -- 6

  9. Heath Miller (2005) -- 6

  10. Calvin Ridley (2018) -- 6

  11. Donte' Stallworth (2002) -- 6

Highest yards per catch through first 7 games -- since merger

  1. Ja'Marr Chase (2021) -- 21.54

  2. Charlie Brown (1982) -- 20.24

  3. Charlie Wade (1974) -- 19.52

  4. Jerry Butler (1979) -- 19.15

  5. Frank Sanders (1995) -- 19.08

*Minimum 25 receptions


Chase is just rewriting the record books through seven games, adding more feats to his impressive resume. He is the second rookie in NFL history to record at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first seven games and is one of two players in NFL history with a reception of at least 30 yards in each of their first seven career games (Earl McCullouch is the other in both categories, 1968).


If Chase is able to lead the NFL in receiving yards after eight weeks, he'll become the first rookie in NFL history to accomplish that feat. Take a look at the all-time rookie marks and the incredible pace Chase is on.


Most receiving yards by rookie (season) -- NFL history

  1. Bill Groman (1960) -- 1,473

  2. Justin Jefferson (2020) -- 1,400

  3. Anquan Boldin (2003) -- 1,377

  4. Randy Moss (1998) -- 1,313

  5. Odell Beckham (2014) -- 1,305

Most receiving touchdowns by rookie (season) -- NFL history

  1. Randy Moss (1998) -- 17

  2. Billy Howton (1952) -- 13

  3. John Jefferson (1978) -- 13

  4. Odell Beckham Jr. (2014) -- 12

  5. Mike Ditka (1961) -- 12

  6. Mike Evans (2014) -- 12

  7. Bill Groman (1960) -- 12

  8. Bob Hayes (1965) -- 12

  9. Harlon Hill (1954) -- 12

Highest yards per catch by rookie (season) -- NFL history

  1. Billy Howton (1952) -- 23.23

  2. Bill Groman (1960) -- 20.46

  3. A.J. Brown (2019) -- 20.21

  4. Mike Ditka (1961) -- 19.21

  5. Randy Moss (1998) -- 19.03

*Minimum 50 receptions


Chase is on a pace that will shatter these rookie records, while having one of the all-time great seasons for any receiver in league history. He's on pace for 1,831 receiving yards, which would shatter Groman's record -- and would be the fifth-most by any player in a season.


The Bengals rookie is on pace for 85 catches this year, which would be the ninth-most from a rookie. If Chase continues his 21.54 yards per catch, that would be the second-highest by a rookie receiver (minimum 50 receptions) in league history and the 14th-highest by any player -- second-highest since the merger.


Chase is on pace for 14 receiving touchdowns, which would only trail Moss for the most ever from a rookie. If Chase finishes with 85 catches, 1,831 yards, and 14 touchdowns -- he would join Jerry Rice (1995) as the only players ever to hit those numbers in a season. Keep in mind Chase is just 21 years old.


Chase is in the midst of a historic season, one the league has never seen from a first-year player. He's taken the league by storm and catapulting the Bengals to the top of the AFC in the process.