Things started a bit slowly for Kyle Pitts this season. He only tallied 11 receptions for 139 total yards in his first three games and had two games with less than 40 yards. But that’s to be expected for several reasons. First and foremost, tight end is one of the most challenging positions to adjust to in the NFL. Secondly, it was always going to take some time for the chemistry between him and Matt Ryan to develop, and it was also going to take some time for Arthur Smith to learn how to use him.
Well, fast forward four weeks later, and it seems like things are clicking on all cylinders. Pitts looks like a man amongst boys, Matt Ryan is beginning to understand precisely where his young tight end will be, and Arthur Smith is utilizing his new weapon perfectly. After catching for 282 yards in his last two games, Pitts is now well on pace to shatter the NFL rookie tight end receiving record. I don’t even think that’s a question anymore; he’s going to break it. The question now is, by how much?
To predict what Pitts’ stats might look like at the end of the season, it’s best to break it down by receiving yards per game. Currently, the former Florida Gator is averaging 78.5 yards per game, but that’s taking into account the first three weeks that looked more like an adjustment period. Do I think Pitts will average 141 yards per game as he has over the last two games? No, but I believe his last two performances are much closer to what we will see going forward.
Could Pitts average 100 yards per game the rest of the season? I wouldn’t put it past him. With 11 games remaining on the schedule, that would put Pitts on pace for 1,571 receiving yards. I mean, that’s just silly for any wide receiver, let alone a rookie tight end.
100 yards per game the rest of the way is a lofty expectation, though, even if I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility. So, let’s take a look at his floor, which I believe to be about 75 yards per game. That would be 825 yards the rest of the way, putting his total at 1,262 yards for the season, which is still pretty incredible.
I think both of those scenarios are fathomable. However, it’s most likely that Pitts lands somewhere in between those two extremes. I’ll say he catches for 88 yards per game over the final 11 games. That’s 968 yards, putting his total for his rookie season at 1,439 yards. It sounds ridiculous, but what we’ve seen from Kyle Pitts over his first six games has been ridiculous. I only expect him to get better, and it shouldn’t shock anybody if he surpasses my prediction by a wide margin.