Sorting Out Stats That Have the Bengals at Another Crossroads Heading into Week 6

Trey Hendrickson's six-pack, Cam Taylor-Britt's first pick goes for six, and 46 passes without a tight end target highlight this week's Bengals stat dive.

Joe Burrow rediscovered his magic, Ja’Marr Chase broke a franchise record, Trenton Irwin cemented his standing as Most Valuable Backup, and the defense concealed some deficiencies with three much-needed turnovers as the Cincinnati Bengals restored order with a 34-20 (must) win in the desert.

Before flipping focus to the next gotta-have-it game Sunday at home against Seattle, let’s dive into some statistics that are surprising, telling, or just downright interesting.

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

What Stats Stand Out After the Bengals Righted Their Ship?

Some qualify as all three, but all of them have helped deliver the Bengals to their 2-3 crossroads with the bye on the horizon.

Targetless Tight Ends

Burrow did not officially target a tight end on any of his 46 pass attempts Sunday, although he did throw at Irv Smith Jr. on a play negated by a penalty.

MORE: Instant Observations From the Cincinnati Bengals’ Season-Saving Win vs. Arizona

That marks the first time since stat companies began tracking receiver targets in 2009 that the Bengals played a game in which a tight end did not have a single target. And it was only the third such occurrence in the NFL this year, with the Dolphins also not throwing at a tight end Sunday and the Saints failing to do so in Week 4.

It was just the third time in the Zac Taylor era that a Bengals TE did not have a reception. The others were Week 3 (2021) — a 24-10 win at Pittsburgh (one target for C.J. Uzomah) — and Week 6 (2020) in a 31-27 loss at Indianapolis (one target each for Cethan Carter and Drew Sample).

The last time a team had at least 46 pass attempts with no tight end targets was Week 15 in 2011, when Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 47 passes in a 30-23 loss to the Dolphins.

Six-Pack Blackout

Defensive end Trey Hendrickson — aka Blackout Trey — tied his career high with 2.5 sacks Sunday. In doing so, he became the fifth player in Bengals history to have at least six sacks through the team’s first five games of a season.

Eddie Edwards had eight sacks through the first five games in 1983, and Antwan Odom had eight in 2009 (five of which came in a Week 2 game at Green Bay). Geno Atkins had six through five games in both 2012 and 2018, and James Francis had six in 1990.

Hendrickson has recorded at least half a sack in three consecutive games. If he gets one Sunday, he would be tied for the eighth-longest streak in Bengals history. But he has a long way to go to match his franchise-record streak of 11 set in 2021.

First and 6

Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt is the 14th player in franchise history to return his first career interception for a touchdown. (Taylor-Britt had an interception in the Divisional Round win against Buffalo last year, but postseason stats do not count on career totals.)

The most recent to do it was William Jackson III against Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay in 2017.

The others: Carlos Dunlap (2012), Jonathan Fanene (2009), Johnathan Joseph (2007), Robert Geathers (2004), Madieu Williams (2004), Roger Jones (1995), James Francis (1990), Ray Horton (1983), James Griffin (1983), Ray Griffin (1979), Marvin Cobb (1975), Charlie King (1968) and Al Beauchamp (1968).

Uno Mas

I already dove into all the superlatives set by Chase with his monster game against the Cardinals, but there is always more to find when it comes to his production.

Let’s start with the big bomb that signaled to everyone wearing stripes that the Burrow-Chase connection is back.

MORE: Cincinnati Bengals Injury Update — Will Tee Higgins Play vs. the Seahawks?

That long ball marked Chase’s fifth catch of at least 63 yards since he entered the league, which is the most in the NFL since he arrived in 2021. Tyreek Hill has four, while Deebo Samuel, K.J. Osborn, and Van Jefferson each have three in that span.

Sunday also marked Chase’s 14th consecutive game with at least five catches. It’s the longest active streak in the NFL and a Bengals franchise record. But he’s not even halfway to the record of 36 set by Antonio Brown from September 2013 to October 2015.

Special Teams Superlatives

Since a shaky start, rookie punter Brad Robbins is averaging 50.3 yards per punt on his last eight attempts. For the season, his average has climbed to 43.9.

In the last two games, Robbins’ average hang time of 4.47 seconds is tied for eighth best in the league.

As far as punt returns go, the Bengals are tied with the Eagles for second with 16.9 yards per attempt, trailing only the Saints (18.3).

If the Bengals can maintain their 16.9-yard average, they would smash the franchise record of 12.4 set in 1984.

Rookie Charlie Jones leads the NFL with an 18.8 average, and Irwin could enter the equation after Sunday’s game. Players need 1.25 punt returns per game played to qualify among the league leaders, which after five games equates to six returns. Irwin only has five. If the minimum threshold was five, Irwin would rank fifth in the league with a 14.0 average.

Rested Foes

When the Seattle Seahawks visit Paycor Stadium on Sunday, it will mark just the second time under Taylor the Bengals have faced a team that was coming off a bye. In 2020, the Giants came to Cincinnati off their Week 11 bye and beat the Bengals 19-17.

Looking back further, teams coming off their bye week have won four in a row against the Bengals and 16 of the last 19.

Seattle, however, has lost its post-bye game in each of the last three seasons despite being favored in two of those games. Under head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks are 7-6 the week after their bye.

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