After signing a four-year, $60-million contract extension last week, A.J. Green wanted to have a monster game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. That, however, didn’t exactly happen. Green didn’t have a bad game – he had five catches for 63 yards – but he had hoped for more.
Then again, with the Raiders’ defense focused entirely on Green, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert had a career day, hauling in nine catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-13 win.
“That’s good,” Green said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show, referring to the extra defensive attention. “It opens up a lot of other holes for the other guys, and that will let me be able to maneuver once everybody else (gets involved).”
Indeed, Green, a four-time Pro Bowler, has no problem getting double-teamed every play.
“It (comes with) the territory,” Green said. “It’s a honor that they have two people on me. But at some point that still doesn’t matter because we have other guys who are really stepping up . . . so that gives me more one-on-one matches.”
Green typically takes advantage of those. He has 334 catches for 4,937 yards and 35 touchdowns in 61 career games, as the Bengals have made the playoffs in each of his four seasons. Unfortunately for them, they have yet to win a postseason game. Even more discouraging, the offense has been held to 13 points or fewer all four times out.
While most people blame quarterback Andy Dalton for this, Green does not. No, Green, who has 13 catches for 161 yards and zero touchdowns in three playoff games – he did not play in last season’s playoff loss to the Colts – prefers to instead look in the mirror.
“I (deserve) some of that blame too because I haven’t played well in a lot of those big games,” Green said. “I feel like if I play well and make some of those tough catches, it really can spark our offense. I think that’s where I need to get better at being that great receiver and showing up in big games. For me, it’s holding each other accountable and not letting somebody slide by when they’re not having a good game and talk to them. Be like, ‘Hey, you need to pick this up.’ Just stuff like that. I think that’s the biggest thing for this team this year. We’re holding guys accountable.”
Green doesn’t just do that on the football field, either. The 27-year-old South Carolina native is apparently “very good at pool.”
“Yeah, I take anybody’s money in pool,” Green said.
Green will even hustle his opponents, throwing the first game and then dominating thereafter.
“Oh, of course,” he said. “I know how to look average and take people’s money after that.”
Green has never hustled any of his teammates, but other NFL players? Definitely.
“I beat Demaryius Thomas at my house a bunch of times,” Green said. “I took a lot of his money.”
When pressed for a dollar amount, Green said it was “in the hundreds.”
Green threw the first game against Thomas.
“Yeah, and then it took off from there,” Green said. “I never looked back.”