2/9/22 by Claire Overton
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was named the 2021 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year. Chase had a record-breaking first season in the NFL and that showed in his season stats.
He totaled 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. He broke the Bengals’ rookie records for most receiving touchdowns in a game, most receptions in a game, most receiving yards in a game, and most 100-yard receiving games.
Ja’Marr is the first Bengals player to win this award and broke several franchise records in the process. He broke former Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson’s single-season receiving yards franchise record set in 2007.
Chase also set a new NFL record for most receiving yards in a postseason game by a rookie in the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs. Chase recorded 266 yards.
Also nominated for the award were running back Najee Harris (Pittsburgh Steelers), quarterback Mac Jones (New England Patriots), tight end Kyle Pitts (Atlanta Falcons), linebacker Micah Parsons (Dallas Cowboys), and wide receiver Jalen Waddle (Miami Dolphins).
Parsons was chosen by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) as the 2021 Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year. The PFWA named Chase the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year.
To say the least, Ja’Marr had an outstanding rookie season, and it is not over yet. Chase and the Bengals face off against the LA Rams in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.