Tee Higgins Becoming Major Part of Bengals Offense

Brad Senkiw

Remember Week 1 in the NFL when Tee Higgins didn't catch a single pass and hardly played for the Cincinnati Bengals? 

Yeah, neither does Higgins, the former Clemson standout receiver. The first selection of the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft has seen his playing time and production increase week-to-week to the point that he's become a focal point in the passing game. 

Higgins had his first 100-yard receiving contest last Sunday in the Bengals' 31-27 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. He recorded 125 yards on six catches for an average of 20.8 per reception. 

"That’s what I expect every week," Higgins said after the game. "All of us in the receiving room – we expect to go out there and make plays for our team. I was able to make the plays that came my way. I only had one drop that really bothered me, but other than that I was just out there trying to help my team get a W."

Higgins, who's third among rookies in receiving yards, became the first Bengals rookie to post 125-yard performance since 2010. 

Higgins also had a 67-yard catch that nearly turned into a touchdown, but he was brought down at the 2-yard line. 

“I should have scored,” Higgins said. “He caught me, but it definitely was a lesson learned moment.”

Much of this season has been, and the rookie has picked things up in a hurry. After getting shut out statistically and playing very few snaps in Week 1 against the Chargers, Higgins saw his production increase over the last five games:

  • Week 2: 6 targets, 3 catches, 35 yards
  • Week 3: 9 targets, 5 catches, 40 yards, 2 TDs
  • Week 4: 7 targets, 4 catches, 77 yards
  • Week 5: 8 targets, 4 catches, 62 yards
  • Week 6: 8 targets, 6 catches, 125 yards

Higgins was drafted to pair with first overall selected Joe Burrow, and the two have found some solid chemistry together. A.J. Green has been the franchise's key offense player for many years, but with the Bengals entering a new era with Burrow, Higgins is taking advantage and showing Cincinnati fans a glimpse of what's to come this year and in future seasons. 

The Bengals host the Browns on Sunday at 1 p.m. looking to even the season series.