Never send just a man to do a Boyd’s job.
Sounds like a cool slogan for a t-shirt, right?
Well, it’s more than that. With Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd coming into his own as a viable target for Andy Dalton, that slogan could become the newest way to express how Bill Lazor’s offense will wreak havoc on opponents in 2018.
Getting to that point though hasn’t been a sure thing at times.
Tyler Boyd: Origins
The Bengals had reasonably high hopes for Tyler Boyd, drafting him in the second round out of Pitt in 2016. He brought a 6’2” frame and 4.58 speed to the team. Cincinnati penciled him in third on the depth chart behind Brandon LaFell and some guy named Green.
Boyd wasted no time jumping into the fray in 2016. He played in all 16 games and snagged 54 passes for 603 yards and 1 TD. Those are solid totals for a second rounder, especially when you consider that his role was mainly to complement Green and LaFell.
But last year, those numbers dipped more than the chorus of Freak Nasty‘s single Da Dip. (You know; I put my hand upon your hip …). Boyd suffered a knee sprain and only played in 10 games. He was targeted only 32 times, and caught 22 of them for 225 yards and a couple of TDs. To boot, he was in Marvin Lewis’ doghouse for reasons that even the cast of True Detective would have trouble figuring out.
Now, it’s year 3.
Through the first 3 games of 2018, Boyd has 15 catches for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s a healthy 16.6 yards per catch and a yardage total that already surpasses last year. Those numbers should keep growing nicely as Boyd gains experience and assumes a larger role in the offense with LaFell now in Oakland. Boyd is a good safety net/checkdown for Dalton and will team with Green to give the Cincinnati Bengals a powerful 1-2 punch. It’ll be enough to give secondaries that same dejected feeling you get when you’re jonesing for some Chick-fil-A … and then realize it’s Sunday.
Here’s to Tyler, whom we hope will continue to look like a man among boys.