USA Today

Ja'Marr Chase had arguably the greatest receiving season for a rookie in NFL history in 2021. In 17 games, the former LSU standout caught 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. He caught an additional 25 passes for 368 yards and a score in the playoffs while helping the Bengals win the AFC title. 

For an encore, Chase wants to achieve something that only four receivers since the AFL-NFL merger have done: lead the league in receptions, yards and touchdown catches. 

"I write goals a lot, especially with football," Chase said on the I Am Athlete podcast. "My biggest goal this year, and not just this year, just going forward, is the triple crown."

The receiving triple crown has been achieved 16 times in the NFL's 101-year history, but only four times since 1970. Jerry Rice, arguably the greatest receiver of all-time, became the first modern-era receiver to win the triple crown in 1990 after catching 100 passes for 1,502 yards and 13 touchdowns. Two years later, then-Packers receiver Sterling Sharpe followed suit after catching 108 passes for 1,461 yards and 13 scores during Brett Favre's first season as Green Bay's starting quarterback.

In 2005, then-Panthers receiver Steve Smith won the triple crown when he caught 103 passes for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns while helping Carolina get to within a game of the Super Bowl. Last season, Rams wideout Cooper Kupp became the latest receiver to win the triple crown after catching 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

A Pro Bowler last season, Chase feels that his rookie numbers could have been even better. He feels that he should have had 18 touchdown catches last season had he been able to hang on to more of Joe Burrow's passes. Speaking of Burrow, Chase said that being able to play with his former college quarterback helped ease his transition from college to the pros. 

The depth of Cincinnati's offense may be Chase's biggest obstacle as far as winning the triple crown is concerned. Along with Chase, the Bengals' receiving corps includes 1,000-yard receiver Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, who put up a pair of 1,000-yard receiving campaigns during his previous role as Cincinnati's No. 1 wideout. Cincinnati's offense also includes running back Joe Mixon, who finished third in the NFL with 1,205 last last season. 

On the other hand, Cincinnati's riches at the skill positions may also help Chase in his quest to win a triple crown. When defenses started to focus on stopping Chase last season, Higgins and Boyd made them pay. Defenses ultimately settled on putting their top corner on Chase while living with the fact that he will likely make his fair share of plays. That was the case in Super Bowl LVI, when Chase beat Jalen Ramsey for a 46-yard, one-handed catch that set up Cincinnati's first points of the game. 

The 22-year-old receiver certainly has his sights set on becoming one of the most prolific wideouts of his or any era. Chase also has goals outside of football that include opening up his own sock business. 

"If you're an athlete, you know you lose socks," Chase said. "That's a fact, that's 100% a fact. They've got holes in them, you don't know how. … I think that's going to blow up."