A.J. Green broke another Cincinnati Bengals record on Sunday when he caught a touchdown pass in his ninth consecutive game, passing T.J. Houshmandzadeh for consecutive games with touchdown receptions. The second year receiver is on pace to break Chad Johnson’s single-season receiving record with the Cincinnati franchise, only needing 529 more yards throughout the next six games. Green is also tied with New England’s Rob Gronkowski for first place in the NFL with ten touchdown receptions this season.
None of this record breaking is new for those that watched his rise to greatness last year. In A.J. Green’s rookie season, he recorded four 100-yard games and caught 65 passes for 1,057 yards, leading all NFL rookies in 2011. On Christmas Eve in that year, he set another record when he surpassed Bengals legend Cris Collinsworth for most rookie receiving yards in a season, when his yardage total rose to 1,031. Green was voted into the 2011 Pro Bowl as a rookie and is set to return again this year for back to back appearances as a hands down favorite.
Green isn’t just a stand out in the NFL. The kid taken with the fourth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft was a high school and college prodigy. In 2008 he was named SEC Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-Freshman, and First-team All-SEC. In 2009, he was once again named to the First-team All-SEC and in his rookie NFL season he was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie team. In 2012 he has already taken AFC Offensive player of the Month honors for September and it looks to be just the beginning for the kid that started his career on the juggling team in a South Carolina elementary school.
With all of these stats and awards, A.J. Green is already being recognized as one of the best at his position in only his second season in the NFL. With all of these stats and honors, it is easy for us as fans to lose ourselves in the records being broken and shiny awards. We all need to take a second on Sunday, though, and forget all of those things. What we are witnessing in Cincinnati is the next Jerry Rice, the legend we will tell our kids about. We all need to open our eyes and really watch; take it all in. It doesn’t come our way often in the Queen City, but greatness is here now in the form of a 24 year old super star.