Quarterbacks win major awards. That’s just the rule, with few exceptions. 

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase is hoping to be an exception. 

Coming into this season, there were five first-round rookie quarterbacks vying for NFL offensive rookie. of the year. With that many quarterback options for voters to choose from, it seemed hard to believe anyone else could make a run at the award. 

But the quarterbacks haven’t been impressive. Chase has been. 

Rookie QBs have struggled

At BetMGM, the offensive rookie of the year award odds are led by the Bengals’ star receiver. 

Chase +250
Mac Jones +400
Trevor Lawrence +800
Justin Fields +800
Najee Harris +800
Trey Lance +900
Zach Wilson +2000

It’s a bit odd that Lance, who likely will not be the San Francisco 49ers’ starter when Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy, has much shorter odds than Wilson, the New York Jets’ unquestioned starter. 

But that speaks to the struggles of the rookie quarterbacks who have played. Jones has been fine but unspectacular for a 2-4 New England Patriots team. Lawrence has been playing better but started slow and the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t going to put up a decent record. Justin Fields has had some ridiculously conservative game plans to work with. Wilson has struggled with turnovers. 

There’s no rookie QB who is forcing his way into the conversation. But it’s not just the struggles of that group that affect the odds. Chase has earned pole position. 

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) is the favorite to win NFL offensive rookie of the year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) is the favorite to win NFL offensive rookie of the year. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Ja’Marr Chase on a hot streak

Chase was the fifth overall pick and the vibe around him before the season was mostly negative. He struggled with drops in the preseason. It seemed like he’d have a tough transition. 

Then, starting in Week 1, he was Joe Burrow’s favorite receiver. Chase has been a big-play threat all season and has 27 catches for 553 yards and five touchdowns already this season. That’s a blistering pace. 

Last season, Justin Jefferson set an NFL rookie receiving record but still couldn’t beat Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert for NFL offensive rookie of the year. But this year, there’s no Herbert-level quarterback among the rookies. That opens the door for Chase, who still probably needs to avoid someone like Lawrence or Fields getting hot and snatching the award from him. 

To this point, Chase has done everything he can to win the award. That’s why he’s the betting favorite. 

Source News