Which receiver-defensive pairings are the best in the NFL?
On Thursday, FOX Sports’ Greg Jennings joined “Carton Shaw” to discuss his top three QB-WR pairings — and he revealed which pairing isn’t on his list.
Let’s dive in.
1. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills
Basic statistics: In 2022, Diggs ranks second in receptions (20), second in receptions (270) and first in receiving touchdowns (four). He finished last season ninth, eighth and sixth in the same categories, respectively. Allen has targeted Diggs on 33.3 percent of his pass attempts this season, the third-highest mark in the NFL. Diggs’ 23 targets are tied for the seventh most in the NFL heading into Week 3. The Bills are 2-0 on the season with 72 points in two games.
Jennings’ thoughts: “Right now, you have to say Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs because of what they’ve been doing — and they’ve been doing it now for the longest period of time.”
2. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Basic statistics: In 2022, Chase ranks fifth in receiving yards (15) and ninth in receiving yards (183). He has only one goal conceded this season. In 2021, Chase finished 20th in receptions (81), tied for fourth in receptions (1,455) and third in receiving touchdowns (13) en route to being named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. Burrow has hit Chase on 28.1 percent of his pass attempts this season, and Chase’s 25 targets so far in 2022 are tied for second in the NFL. The Bengals are off to an 0-2 start to the season after reaching the Super Bowl last season. In the past three seasons, none of the 40 teams that have made the playoffs have started 0-2.
Jennings’ thoughts: “Then I’m moving to Cincinnati — yes, for sure — with Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. I know they didn’t push it [year]. (More about last year) and what they did for it.”
3. Matthew Stafford and Cooper coup, Los Angeles Rams
Basic statistics: This season, Kupp ranks first in receptions (24), fourth in receiving yards (236) and second in receiving yards (three). Last season, the offensive player of the year led the NFL in receptions (145), receptions (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16). Heading into Week 3, Stafford targeted Kupp on 37.7% of his passes, the highest in the NFL. After leading the league with 191 targets in 2021 — the most in a single season by any player since 2015 — Kupp boasts an NFL-leading 29 targets in 2022. The defending Super Bowl champion Rams are 1-1 heading into Week 3 of the season.
Jennings’ thoughts: “Honestly, I would put them in third place. … There’s Stefon Diggs and obviously Josh Allen, and then there’s the Bengals — and then I’m going with Cooper Kupp.”
Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings (Honorable Distinction)
Basic statistics: Jefferson currently ranks fifth in receptions (15), fifth in receiving yards (232) and seventh in receiving touchdowns (two) in 2022, and Cousins has targeted Jefferson on 29.5 percent of his pass attempts. The third-year receiver has 23 targets so far on the season, tied for seventh most in the NFL. Last season, Jefferson finished fourth in receptions (108) and second in receiving yards (1,616). The Vikings look to stay above .500 this week after a 1-1 start.
Jennings’ thoughts: “Let me say this: I’d put Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins in there, but when I look at defensive ends, Kirk is the ‘to be determined’ when it comes to, ‘Can he continue to let Justin be that guy? ?”
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