Turns out that tight end Tyler Eifert had a football game for the ages Thursday.
With his three-touchdown performance against the Browns, the third-year Bengal tied single-game and single-season records for Cincinnati tight ends.
Eifert became the first Bengals tight end in 46 years to catch three touchdown passes in a game, and he's on course to break a 26-year-old season record with his next one, according to the team.
His three TDs against Cleveland gave him nine for 2015, tying Bob Trumpy (1969) and Rodney Holman (1989) for the most in a season. Eifert is the first Cincinnati tight end to score three TDs in a game since Trumpy did it in 1969, according to the team's official web site.
Eifert said his career day is part of the job description.
“We don’t care who is having a big day,” Eifert told the site. “We all want to have a big day, but at the end of the day we just want to win."
On a given day, he said it could be somebody else.
"It might be me one day, it might be A.J. (Green) or Marvin (Jones) or Mo (Sanu) or whoever," Eifert said. "Or maybe (Ryan) Hewitt. But we’re just happy to be on a winning streak. We’ll try to keep it going.”
For example, Sanu, the No. 3 receiver, scored on a 25-yard reverse against the Browns, joining quarterback Andy Dalton as Bengals who have thrown a TD pass as well as get one rushing and receiving over the last two seasons. It was Sanu's first rushing TD since he was at Rutgers in 2010.
The big plays are fine, coach Marvin Lewis said. Mainly, he just wants young guys such as Eifert to do their jobs, all the way around. To that end thus far, the coach is pleased with his budding star at the end of the line, in all phases.
“From the first day of his rookie year, I knew he was going to be a very, very good professional line-of-scrimmage blocker," Lewis said of Eifert. "We knew he could do all the things in the passing game, but the fact that he’s a big man that does a great job on the line of scrimmage, is good.”