The Steelers powered to 4-0 for the first time since 1979 in large part because rookie receiver Chase Claypool scored four touchdowns in only his fourth NFL game.
According to the NFL, Claypool is only the third rookie receiver to score four touchdowns in a game in league history, joining Jerry Butler (1979) and Harlon Hill (1954).
Claypool also became the fourth rookie with at least two receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a single game since 1970, joining Lynn Cain (1979), Joey Galloway (1995), and Kareem Hunt (2017).
Claypool could have had a fifth touchdown, but it was called back for offensive pass interference.
“When I saw the flag I was pretty surprised and I was pretty upset especially at that point in the game, in a crucial point in the game,” Claypool told PFT by phone after the victory. “I was pretty upset for sure. Luckily we got the win and I don’t have to think about it too much.”
We then started talking about how five touchdowns would have put him one behind the record set by Gale Sayers in 1965.
“I’d love to try to follow up on that,” he said of Sayers’ record, “maybe in a couple years.”
“Or maybe in a couple weeks, who knows?” I replied.
“Maybe next week, yeah,” Claypool said with a laugh.
Given the dominance he displayed on Sunday, a four-score game for Claypool may not be beginner’s luck and/or an aberration. It could be just the beginning for a guy who somehow saw 10 receivers drafted before him.