Former Pitt wide receiver Tyler Boyd had a breakout performance with the Cincinnati Bengals last week, but the team fell short of its ultimate goal, suffering a 31-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
However, Boyd followed that performance up admirably on Sunday, posting his second straight 100-yard showing and coming up with several clutch first-down catches on the Bengals’ final drive in a 37-36 comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons. In the interconference matchup, Boyd came up with 11 receptions on 15 targets for 100 yards, leading the team in each category.
The targets are perhaps the most notable stat in that bunch, as he had almost twice as many as star receiver A.J. Green, who was targeted eight times and came up with four catches for 78 yards. That’s indicative of an apparent rapport between the Pitt product and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, which was on display in the team’s final offensive drive on Sunday.
With the Bengals down 36-31, the two linked up four times, and each completion was good for a first down, including a vital seven-yard connection on 4th and 6 that set the team up for its game-winning score. That came two plays later on a 13-yard pass to Green, giving the Bengals a 37-36 lead they would not relinquish.
Boyd is currently the Bengals’ top receiver in several categories, including receiving yards, yards per reception and yards per game. Although he’s been the team’s biggest gainer in 2018, he ranks second to Green in targets, receptions and touchdowns. He does boast a higher catch percentage, however, as he’s grabbed 71.4 percent of passes thrown his way to Green’s 64.0.
None of this is to say Boyd has unseated Green as Cincy’s star receiver, but he’s certainly making his presence known in the Bengals receiving corps after a few uncharacteristically quiet seasons.