Coming off of his best performance of the young season, Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-year wide receiver Chase Claypool is once again generating some serious buzz around NFL circles.
The big, fast, physical receiver dominated the Denver Broncos in Week 5, hauling in five passes for 130 yards and one touchdown, including a highlight-reel 59-yard catch and run over the middle out of the slot in which he stiff-armed Broncos’ safety Kareem Jackson along the sideline and burst into the open field for the big splash play.
Now, just days away from the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at Heinz Field against the Seattle Seahawks, NFL Network analyst and former nine-year running back Maurice Jones-Drew is expecting a monster game from the Steelers’ young receiver, laying down a bold prediction for the Notre Dame product.
“You want bold?! I’ll give you BOLD. Chase Claypool found his game last week against the Broncos with five receptions for 130 yards and his first receiving TD of the season. This week vs. Seattle, the second-year wideout puts on a show and has 100 receiving yards and THREE touchdowns!” Jones-Drew writes as part of NFL.com’s weekly bold predictions article.
One hundred receiving yards and three touchdowns is rather bold. However, Claypool already has one of those games under his belt so early in his career. Flash back to the 2020 season in a Week 5 battle against the Philadelphia Eagles. Claypool took his star turn in that game, hauling in seven passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns, and added a rushing touchdown in the 38-29 win, all while playing just 68% of the offensive snaps in that game.
The second-year receiver will have quite the tough task of replicating that on Sunday night in front of a national audience, but he gets the opportunity to try and do so against one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL in the Seahawks.
Seattle has had its fair share of struggles defending the pass, allowing Indianapolis wide receiver Zach Pascal to open the season with a two-touchdown performance in Week 1. Against the Tennessee Titans in Week 2, Julio Jones went for 128 yards on six catches. Week 3 was no different as Minnesota star Justin Jefferson caught nine balls for 118 yards and a score.
In Week 4, San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel went off for eight catches, 156 yards and two touchdowns, and in Week 5 on Thursday Night Football the Seahawks allowed Robert Woods to haul in 12 passes for 150 yards.
The Steelers should be able to move Claypool around to exploit mismatches in the slot against Seattle defensive back Ugo Amadi, as well as on the outside against cornerbacks Sidney Jones IV and D.J. Reed, which could lead to a big day through the air once against for Claypool, and hopefully a second straight Steelers’ win at Heinz Field.