Andy Dalton to A.J. Green and the 10 Most Dynamic QB-WR Duos of the Future
Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton is beginning to get quite comfortable, as he has quietly led the 5-2 Bengals to victory after victory.
Dalton, however, is not the only rookie getting comfortable in Cincinnati. His counterpart, wide receiver A.J. Green, is settling in quite nicely as well, quickly and clearly becoming Dalton's favorite target.
With Green now leading the team in reception yards, the Dalton-Green duo has connected for a touchdown reception in each of the Bengals' last three games.
These two players are definitely a dynamic QB-WR duo of the future and will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
A few other teams have some interesting QB-WR duos emerging as well, so let's take a look at them.
Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson
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Obviously, this quarterback-wide receiver relationship is one that began budding in 2009 when Stafford was a rookie, but it was put on pause by Stafford's injury in 2010.
This year, though, the two have connected for a league leading 10 touchdown receptions, and the team is actually winning football games.
With the Lions finally starting to see some success, and Stafford and Johnson being the driving force behind this, expect this duo to stick around for awhile.
Cam Newton to Steve Smith
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Calling Cam Newton and Steve Smith a quarterback-wide receiver duo of the future may be a stretch considering Smith is 32 years old and playing in his 11th NFL season; however, Newton seems to have brought new life to this seasoned veteran.
The emergence of Cam Newton as a rookie passing machine may have even potentially bought Smith three to four more good years.
In fact, with 818 receiving yards in just eight games, Smith is on track to have the biggest season of his career yardage wise.
Smith's biggest season for receiving yards prior to this one came in 2005, when he accumulated 1,563 yards in 16 games, leading the league and averaging 98 a game.
Smith is currently averaging 117 yards per game and is leading the league for just the second time in his career.
Matt Ryan to Julio Jones
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Before his injury, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was having one of the most productive rookie seasons in the NFL.
Expected to be the top receiver of the 2011 class, Jones was living up to expectations.
Despite missing the Falcons' last two games due to a hamstring injury, Jones is still third in receiving yards among rookie wideouts.
In five games, quarterback Matt Ryan connected with Jones 25 times for 358 yards, averaging 72 yards a contest.
Jones will be healthy again soon and expected to help the Falcons reach the playoffs.
Eli Manning and Victor Cruz
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Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is an NFL sophomore, but after spending most of last season on the injured reserve after making New York's roster, he might as well be considered a rookie.
Cruz played in just three games last year and posted no receptions during his first NFL campaign.
This year, however, Cruz is having a breakout season, emerging as Eli Manning's second favorite target and catching 28 receptions for 497 yards and four touchdowns.
Cruz has been especially great as of late, leading the team in receiving in three of the last five games.
Look for this duo to continue to shine as Cruz continues to get adjusted with his increasing role and the NFL game.
Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith
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Rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith was selected as a second-round pick by Baltimore in the 2011 draft and came in with high expectations.
Getting off to a slow start, recording zero receptions in his first two games, Smith broke out during Week 3, hauling in three touchdown passes for 152 yards, and has since emerged as quite the weapon for quarterback Joe Flacco.
On the season, Flacco and Smith have connected 15 times for 326 yards, and with all of those yards coming in five games, Smith's averaging 70 an outing.
Smith is now the third leading receiver on the team behind just Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice.
Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown
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Antonio Brown is another sophomore wide receiver who has really emerged this season.
Unlike Cruz, Brown played in games last season for Pittsburgh, but recorded just 16 receptions for 167 yards. Brown never scored a touchdown or had a breakout game.
This year, Brown is having a breakout year. The second leading receiver on Pittsburgh's team, Brown has 25 catches for 364 yards on the season and recorded his first career touchdown in this week's win over the Patriots.
In the Steelers' past two games alone, Brown has had 16 catches.
With Hines Ward on his way out and Roethlisberger in search of a another weapon, he seems to have found his guy.
Jay Cutler and Dane Sanzenbacher
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An undrafted free agent following the 2011 draft, the Chicago Bears made the right decision signing rookie wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher.
Sanzenbacher worked his way onto the Bears 53-man roster and eventually into the depth chart, and is now having one of the most impressive and surprising rookie campaigns out of anyone.
On just 19 catches for 172 yards, Sanzenbacher is extremely productive, leading the Chicago Bears in receiving touchdowns with three.
This is a QB-WR duo to watch out for, as Sanzenbacher is clearly a guy who Cutler is confident throwing to, especially in scoring situations.
Amongst the NFL's rookie wide receivers, Sanzenbacher is tied for second in touchdown receptions.
Colt McCoy and Greg Little
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The Cleveland Browns rookie wide receiver Greg Little has a bright future and has shown glimpses of it throughout this season.
Brown is one of quarterback Colt McCoy's favorite targets, as he is second on the team in receiving.
So far, Brown has 29 catches for 292 yards, but this is a duo that can really be expected to emerge as the two players are able to grow and mature together.
Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb
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Packers rookie wide receiver Randall Cobb has managed to show glimpses of greatness despite a limited role due to Green Bay's incredible wide receiver depth.
Cobb is a dynamic playmaker who, aside from making highlights on special teams, has shown his ability to be an offensive weapon for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers team.
With wide receivers Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Donald Driver, as well as tight end Jermichael Finley (all receiving threats for Rodgers), Cobb has been used on more of a need basis, but he is a guy who is going to develop into a major threat in the future.
Already this season, despite all of the competition, Cobb has 11 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown, which came in his very first NFL game.
Christian Ponder to Percy Harvin
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Just two games into his starting campaign for the Vikings, it is hard to say who rookie quarterback Christian Ponder's favorite target will be, but there is almost no doubt he will increase Harvin's productivity.
Harvin has played limited minutes in each of the Vikings' last two games due to a rib injury, but he and Ponder have already connected for eight catches and 108 yards. Harvin's four catches for 58 yards last game was his second best outing on the season.
Harvin is a player who can be a force to be reckoned with at times, and hopefully, Ponder will help bring this back out.
Aside from Harvin, Ponder helped lead running back Adrian Peterson to a career-high receiving day in Sunday's win, connecting for five catches, 76 yards and a touchdown.
Ponder has also seemed to favor tight end Vinsanthe Shiancoe, hitting him eight times for 92 yards and a touchdown so far.
Averaging 2.6 catches per game before Ponder, Shiancoe had four catches in Ponder's first start and three in his second.