CINCINNATI -- A.J. Green last week became one of the Cincinnati Bengals' highest paid players with a contract extension that rewarded him for the comparative consistency he has shown through the first four seasons of his career.
A contract the likes of his new four-year, $60 million deal meant the Pro Bowler's already high expectations to make plays only increased. When passes are thrown his way, the Bengals believe the ball should end up firmly in his grasp.
He believes the same, too.
When asked earlier this week what his big takeaway from Sunday's 33-13 win over the Oakland Raiders was, Green was critical of one particular second-quarter play that didn't go the way he had anticipated.
"I can't be dropping touchdowns," the star receiver said.
He was referring to the would-be 15-yard touchdown reception that went straight through his hands as he crossed the plane of the goal line early in Sunday's win. With Raiders cornerback TJ Carrie juked by Green's quick move off the line of scrimmage, the wide out had established just enough separation for quarterback Andy Dalton to attempt the pass.
Green went up for the reception untouched. By the time he landed in the right-field warning track portion of O.co Coliseum's south end zone, the ball had already slipped through his hands and hit the ground. It was Green's only drop on eight targets in the game.
At the time of the drop, the Bengals were leading, 7-0. The drive ended without a touchdown, but kicker Mike Nugent made a 32-yard field goal that made it a two-possession game.
"Drops happen, but I've got to do my best not to let that happen," Green said. "I've just got to keep playing and that's what I did. I had some catches after that. I played well after that."
Four of Green's five catches came after the drop. He finished with 63 receiving yards and no touchdowns. Three of his five receptions resulted in first downs.