We all knew how talented Ja’Marr Chase was coming out of LSU, but I don’t think many people would’ve predicted the level of success that the wide receiver is having so soon in his rookie year. Especially not after the criticism over how many passes Chase was dropping in the preseason.
However, after an eye popping Week 7 performance against the Baltimore Ravens, Chase is rewriting the football history books over his first seven games in the NFL and on pace to break all records.
This blistering pace has NFL betting sites asking if Chase can break the NFL record for receiving yards by a rookie. Let’s huddle up to examine this NFL futures bet and see where we should place our money.
Although the Yes option is listed at -200 odds, there may still be some value depending on how you think Ja’Marr will perform the rest of the season.
A Look at the NFL Rookie Receiving Record
The following is a list of the Top 5 yardage marks by a rookie wide receiver in the NFL:
Justin Jefferson 1,400 yards
Anquan Boldin 1,377 yards
Randy Moss 1,313 yards
Odell Beckham Jr. 1,305 yards
Billy Howton 1,231 yards
It should be noted that if we include the AFL, which merged with the NFL, then Bill Groman holds the mark for the most yards by a rookie wideout at 1,473 yards.
For this article’s purpose, and for BetOnline’s listed prop bet, we’re looking at Jefferson’s yardage as the mark to break.
From 1952 until 1998, Billy Howton held the record for most receiving yards by a rookie with 1,231 yards. What was impressive about this feat was that he did it in just 12 games.
However, in 1998, HOF wide receiver Randy Moss would take over the league with an explosive season that saw the receiver finish with 1,313 yards on 69 receptions.
Yet, that mark would only stand for five years before Anquan Boldin broke it in 2003 with 1,377 yards on 101 catches.
Boldin’s record would last 17 years before the talented Justin Jefferson would eclipse the record in 2020 when he finished with 1,400 yards on 88 receptions.
What makes Chase’s quest to break this record even more compelling is that he was teammates with Jefferson at LSU with current Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow. It adds a layer of intrigue to an already fascinating season for Ja’Marr.
Chase’s Current Stats
After seven games, Ja’Marr Chase has 754 yards on 35 receptions along with 6 TDs. His 21.5 yards per catch is also very impressive. The following is a breakdown of Chase’s yards over the first seven games of the 2021 season:
Week 1: 101 yards
Week 2: 54 yards
Week 3: 65 yards
Week 4: 77 yards
Week 5: 159 yards
Week 6: 97 yards
Week 7: 201 yards
Chase currently sits second in the NFL with 754 receiving yards. He’s 46 yards behind Cooper Kupp. He’s technically second to DJ Chark Jr. in yards per catch at 21.5ypg. But, Chark has only caught seven passes and is injured.
Ja’Marr is tied for third in TD receptions with six. Cooper Kupp also leads the league in this category with 9 TDs.
Chase is tied for 24th in the NFL with 35 receptions. That actually makes what he’s doing even more impressive considering he has far less catches than other leaders like Kupp who has 56 receptions and Davante Adams who is tied with Tyreek Hill at 52 catches.
Ja’Marr is one of just four receivers averaging at least 100 yards per game. The other three are Cooper Kupp, Davante Adams, and Deebo Samuel.
Breaking Down Chase’s Week 7 Performance
The Bengals went into Baltimore and smashed the favored home team by the score of 41-17. A big reason for this success was Chase’s performance as he finished the day with 201 yards and 1 TD on eight receptions.
The most impressive play of that game was when Chase broke free from Ravens defenders and turned a short reception into an 82 yard TD. That exciting catch helped boost Chase to 5th in the league with 267 yards after the catch.
Ja'Marr Chase became the 2nd-youngest player in NFL history with a 200-yd receiving game, and has the most receiving yards through a player's first 7 career games in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/S0rDi5oEJS
Chase’s 200 yard performance was the first time a rookie receiver hit that total since Mike Evans did it for the Buccaneers in 2014. Additionally, Ja’Marr would become the second youngest player in NFL history to have 200 receiving yards in a game.
Further examination of Chase’s stunning Week 7 performance shows us that he’s smashed Anquan Boldin’s pace of 621 yards after the first seven games of the season.
Yet, not only did Ja’Marr break Boldin’s rookie mark, he also broke the record for most all-time yards in a receiver’s first seven career games that was set in 1954 by Harlon Hill who had 685 yards. Hill broke Billy Howton’s mark of 667 yards set in 1952.
Will Chase Break the NFL Rookie Record for Yards?
Right now, Chase is on pace for 1,831 yards which would smash both Jefferson’s NFL rookie record and Groman’s AFL rookie record.
Chase has 10 games left this season to tally at least 647 more yards to break Jefferson’s mark. That means he only needs to average roughly 65 (64.7) yards per game the rest of the year.
Chase’s lowest total of the season was 54 yards against the Bears. Yet, he’s crossed the 65 yard threshold in every other contest.
As long as he doesn’t miss any games, Ja’Marr Chase will not only break Justin Jefferson’s mark of 1,400 yards, but he will also break Bill Groman’s mark of 1,473 yards set in 1960.
I believe Chase will finish with over 1,500 yards as this Bengals team looks like a legitimate Playoff contender. Plus, the offense has other talented receivers to prevent Chase from being double teamed with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Lastly, Ja’Marr and Joe Burrow have carried over their collegiate connection to the NFL and I expect this to continue for the rest of the season.
Will Chase Break the NFL Rookie Record for Yards? –Yes (-200)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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