Kelvin Benjamin: Have 'we been throwing at all?'

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Kelvin Benjamin's time in Buffalo has been interesting, if nothing more.

Traded to Buffalo at the deadline in 2017, Benjamin has been expected to fill the Bills' No. 1 receiver role since his arrival. It hasn't quite happened that way.

In six games in 2017, Benjamin caught 16 passes for 217 yards and one touchdown. He made waves entering the 2018 season, blaming a lack of extreme success on former teammate Cam Newton.

Through three games in his second (and first full) campaign as a Bill, Benjamin is at an even slower pace, catching just six passes for 58 yards in three games.

Those obviously aren't No. 1 receiver numbers, which is understandable as Buffalo gets rookie Josh Allen acclimated to the pro game in the first few weeks. Benjamin had more insight to offer on Friday when asked to analyze his stat line.

"Damn, [have] we been throwing at all?" Benjamin said Thursday when asked to analyze his statistical production, via ESPN. "But to be honest, man, it is what it is. We got 13 games left. We all know the last 13 games, a dude could go crazy each game. I'm just working, man. Just getting better. Feeling good. We gonna keep grinding and keep building this relationship with Josh [Allen]."

Benjamin has logged two drops on 17 targets, and his three-week Pro Football Focus grade has been downright abysmal: 52.5, which ties him for No. 334 in the league among all eligible receivers (including running backs). But three games (with two quarterbacks) is a small, disadvantageous sample size. The production isn't there yet, yes, but no one is ready to bury Benjamin as a Bill.

What about those drops, though? Benjamin's two drops are tied for third-most in the league. One came early in last week's stunning win over Minnesota.

"I think it was just me trying to hurry up and reach the ball out and try to get in the end zone," Benjamin said. "I was thinking touchdown. Just catch the ball. If I would've caught it, it still would've been a first down and we still would've had a good red-zone percentage [of a touchdown]."

Perhaps the pressure of Benjamin's expected role in Buffalo has made him press a little too hard to make the most of an opportunity. Getting familiar with a rookie under center is also an added challenge. It's not entirely unfamiliar territory, though: Benjamin had about as much pressure coming out of Florida State, when he was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Panthers.

That experience could pay off. Benjamin sounds like he believes it will.

"I'm used to coming out early in the season and having success and already having like 300 yards and some touchdowns," Benjamin said. "But at the same time, it's still a long season. We [are] working. There's a lot of things we've got to get connected on. Timing is one. It's just [getting] comfortable, man. I think it will be a good week for us, though. Coming off that win, feeling good about ourselves, but knowing that we still got a lot of work to do.

"Myself, I always hold myself to a high standard. For some reason I haven't been pulling in every catch. But that [is] gonna change. Definitely gonna change."

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