St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens turned in one heck of a bizarre statistical anomaly last season.
While doing some research for a stat-based feature in the 2013 Lindy’s Fantasy Football preview magazine, I came across the record-tying stretch that Givens enjoyed during his rookie season in the NFL. The record is impressive enough. Upon further review, however, it’s remarkable because of what he did the rest of the season.
After being drafted in the fourth round last year out of Wake Forest, Givens began his rookie season quietly, catching two passes for nine yards in his first three games. Then, in Week 4, he caught a 52-yard pass in the Rams’ upset win over the Seahawks.
That long haul was the first of a five-week run in which he caught a pass of at least 50 yards in each game. The five straight games with a 50-yard catch tied a record that had been set by one-time Olympics sprinter Willie Gault with the Bears.
Here’s the anomaly: If a receiver has one catch for 50 yards or more, you’d think that’s a good foundation to produce a 100-yard game. And yet, Givens did not have a single 100-yard game in this stretch. The most yards he had in any of those five games was 85, in a Week 6 loss at Miami. Givens had a 65-yard catch in that game, but only had two other receptions for a total of 20 yards.
Over that five-game stretch, Givens caught 11 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. While five of those catches accounted for 274 yards, the other six receptions produced a paltry 50 yards.
Adding to the question over whether Givens is a budding big-play star or a flash in the pan: After that wacky five-game stretch, he fell off the map.
Givens had amassed 324 yards in that five-game run. After the bye week, he missed the next game with a toe injury, then started the last seven games of the season. But he only had 29 catches for 365 yards in those seven contests.
From Weeks 4-8, Givens averaged 29.5 yards per catch.
From Weeks 11-17, he averaged 12.6 yards per catch.
So which Chris Givens will we see in 2013?