What everyone was seeing around the league, aside from Bryant racing to the end zone — and his subsequent rants — were breakouts by Pro Bowl receivers and newcomers. They deserve some attention in an era when quarterbacks hog the spotlight.
—Green Bay’s Jordy Nelson, the lone accomplished wideout still healthy for the Packers, had seven catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-31 win over Minnesota. He played in the slot, rare for him, as well as outside.
“It worked out well,” Nelson said. “Got some good looks and open plays.”
—Cincinnati’s Marvin Jones, a second-year wideout from California who previously had 16 catches this year and all of 18 in 2012, and Bengals star A.J. Green. Jones made eight catches for 122 yards and scored four touchdowns in a 49-9 rout of the Jets. The four TD catches are the most in a single game in Bengals history and the most in an NFL game since Nov. 18, 2007, when Randy Moss and Terrell Owens each had four.
Green grabbed only three throws from Andy Dalton, but gained 115 yards on them.
The Bengals have been searching for a dual-threat passing game for years, since Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh were in their primes. They’ve built their big AFC North lead on a brute-force defense and balanced offense. A big-time passing game could lift them to an elite level they haven’t reached since the days of Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason.
“I think people will see that now we have the players that can do it and help a superstar like A.J.,” Jones said.
What they saw from Jones: TD receptions of 9, 6, 14 and 6 yards.
What Jets coach Rex Ryan saw might have nauseated him.
“We got beat in every coverage known to man,” he said. “Five touchdown passes? I don’t know how many times that’s happened in my lifetime. Not very often.”