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Nerdy Birdz: Four stats you must know about Mohamed Sanu before he faces the Bengals


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Falcons will host their third consecutive home game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at 1 p.m. Here are four key stats on wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and how he impacts this Week 4 matchup:

1. Former Feline: Sanu was originally drafted by Cincinnati in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Bengals, Sanu played in 57 games with 34 starts, totaling 152 receptions, 1,793 receiving yards, 11 receiving touchdowns, and completed six-for-six passes for 228 yards and three passing touchdowns for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. This marks the seventh-year veteran's first matchup against his former team.


2. Moving Mo: In Week 3 against the Saints, the wide receiver recorded four catches for 36 yards and a five-yard touchdown, his first touchdown on the season. Sanu also caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter. As the Falcons face off against the eighth-worst passing defense this Sunday, expect to see Sanu and the other wide receivers see more targets again this week.

3. Flashback Friday: In 2014 when Sanu and the Bengals faced the Atlanta Falcons, Sanu had three catches for 84 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown, and completed one pass for 50 yards. The Rutgers alum became the first player since New England's David Patten (2001) to log a reception of 75-plus yards and a completion of 50-plus yards in the same game and still holds that record. Since becoming a Falcon in 2016, Sanu has only had one pass attempt, which happened to be a 51-yard touchdown to Julio Jones against the Buccaneers in 2017. Will he get another chance to throw a pass and against his old teammates?

4. Sanu in the slot: Sanu leads the team in snaps in the slot position (74) through three games this season and has totaled six receptions for 30 yards and one touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus. He is just one of 21 wide receivers in the NFL who has seen at least 50 percent of his snaps in this position. From the Bengals secondary, Darqueze Dennard covers the slot most of the time and has allowed 12-of-17 receptions for 105 yards in three games.

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