After legally changing his name prior to the start of last season, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco was given the nickname "Ocho-Stinko" by many fans and critics around the league following his disappointing 2008 season.
With the way he's performed through the first six weeks of the 2009 season, it's safe to say nobody in the jungle of Cincinnati will refer to him with that nickname anymore.
Despite losing to the Houston Texans 28-17 last weekend, the Bengals have to be satisfied with a certain milestone Ochocinco hit this past weekend against the Houston Texans (no, there was no surprise touchdown celebration).
For the first time in 19 games, Ochocinco surpassed the 100-yard mark for receiving after hauling in five receptions for 103 yards against the Texans.
Ochocinco failed to record a 100-yards receiving in any of the 13 games he played in last season. In fact, the last time he recorded 100 yards receiving was the last game of the regular season in 2007, against the Miami Dolphins. He finished the game with four receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-25 win for the Bengals.
It's hard to imagine a player as talented as Ochocinco to develop a streak that long in the NFL. Last season, his season high in receiving yards came against the Indianapolis Colts (79). Other than that game, his second-highest receiving mark in a game was 57 against the New York Jets.
Everybody can say what they want about the way Ochocinco performed last season. What they need to realize is the 2008 season is history and he has bounced back this year and is having a major impact for the Bengals offense—which is something we've seen from him throughout his career.
How do we know this isn't the same Ochocinco from last season? Just take a look at the statistics and it's obvious 2008 was nothing more than a fluke that resulted from a disappointing season filled with issues at quarterback—mainly Carson Palmer missing most of the season with an elbow injury.
The Bengals are excited with the progress Ochocinco has already made this season. In six games, he has already hauled in 29 receptions for 455 yards and three touchdowns—which is close to surpassing the 540 yards and four touchdowns he recorded in 13 games last season.
Now that Palmer is back under center for the Bengals, it appears opposing defenders are being asked a popular question once again from Ochocinco—how do you stop 85 ?