A.J. Green says he won't go to Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to make sure he's a major part of their playoff game plan next week.

"I don't think I have to go to him anymore," Green told USA TODAY Sports in the Bengals locker room Thursday. "I think he knows."

And Gruden doesn't need to be reminded about what happened in last year's playoffs, when Green wasn't targeted until midway through the third quarter of a 19-13 loss to the Texans — the Bengals' second consecutive first-round exit in Houston.

"He is targeted. He's targeted on every pass play that we have," Gruden told USA TODAY Sports. "The coverage took him away, or we just didn't get him the ball. It happens. We only had the ball for (18) snaps in that half, and it just so happened that he didn't get any of the throws."

Odds are it won't happen again next month — not with Green, 25, continuing to ascend among the NFL's most productive receivers. He has 256 catches for 3,772 yards and 28 touchdowns in 46 regular-season games, plus 10 for 127 yards and no scores in that pair of playoff losses.