The Tennessee Titans’ first-round pick has paid early dividends on third down. He has not been too bad on first or second either.
Two numbers that stand out in the wake of last Thursday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers are 14 and 33, both of which belong to rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright.
The 20th overall selection in April has 14 third-down receptions, which is tied for the most in the NFL through the first six weeks of the season. Two others have the same number and both — the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz and the New England Patriots’ Wes Welker — are Pro Bowl players.
The third-down catches account for nearly 43 percent of Wright’s season total — 33. He leads the Titans in that regard with 10 more than tight end Jared Cook and more than twice as many as any other wide receiver except Nate Washington, who has 17 receptions.
Wright is the only rookie among the NFL’s top 25 in receptions.
“I think the way our offense is drawn up and the things we have going on, anybody’s going to get an opportunity to make big plays and have an offense,” Washington said. “He’s been doing a good job of doing what’s asked of him. … When we correct him, he’s making those adjustments.
“It’s going good for him right now. He just has to make sure he’s getting better and giving everything he has for us.”
Wright is fourth wide receiver drafted in the first round by the Titans/Oilers. He already has more receptions than Kevin Dyson (21 in 1998) and Haywood Jeffires (seven in 1987) had combined in their rookie seasons. He is just nine shy of the number Kenny Britt caught in 2009.
Bill Groman set the team’s rookie record with 72 receptions in 1960, the franchise’s inaugural season.
“I’m just going out there every day, working hard and trying to do what I can to help the team,” Wright said.
Other notable numbers in relation to Sunday’s game at Buffalo (noon, CBS):
2 – teams in the AFC with winning records. They are the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, each at 5-1. Behind them, 10 teams are stacked up with either three or two victories, including the Bills (3-3) and Titans (2-4).
“There’s no reason why we can’t put some wins together,” coach Mike Munchak said. “If you do that, then you work yourself back into it. That’s the good thing, that there is still a chance to work yourself back into it if you can win four or five games in a row, which is a big if.”
88 – yards, the longest punt return of the season by Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin. It is the longest in the league this season. He is one of seven players to take back a punt for a touchdown this season.
105 – yards, the longest kickoff return of the season by Tennessee’s Darius Reynaud. It ties him for the second-longest return in the league this year. He is one of four players to take back a kick 100 yards or more this season.
192 – points allowed by Buffalo, which is the second-highest total in the league. The Bills have been most vulnerable in the fourth quarter, when they have allowed 76 points (39.9 percent of their total).
204 – points allowed by Tennessee, the highest total in the league. The Titans have been most vulnerable in the fourth quarter, when they have allowed 72 points (35.3 percent of their total).
421 – rushing yards by the Titans. Their 70.2 yards-per-game average is the worst in the league and on pace for the lowest total in a 16-game season.
453 – rushing yards by third-year Buffalo running back C.J. Spiller. He averages 7.6 yards per carry, which is first among the league’s top 50 rushers. As a team, Buffalo is fifth in rushing with an average of 147.7 yards per game.