The Browns offense was far from effective against the Steelers in Week 11, with the team putting up just 13 points as a team but still escaping with a win in rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s second start of the season. One of the most interesting - and consequential - developments from the game was the target distribution among Cleveland’s pass catchers, which was particularly notable when it came to TE David Njoku.
The box score wouldn’t tell you that Njoku had a career day against Pittsburgh this past week, but the utilization would: his 15 targets from Dorian Thompson-Robinson in their matchup against the Steelers was by far a career high for the Browns tight end. His 38% target share on the day, as well, led the team by a large margin, nearly doubling Amari Cooper’s 20% target share and more than doubling Elijah Moore’s 18%.
It’s a small sample size with Dorian Thompson Robinson under center, but across two games with him at quarterback, Njoku has earned a 30% target share and finished as a TE1 in both of those games. With DTR likely remaining under center for at least the next week or two (assuming Joe Flacco isn’t thrown into the fray right off the bat), Njoku has a chance to be one of the more productive TEs in the NFL if this type of utilization holds up.