As the season progresses, the importance of matchups continues to grow. Teams are moving to games against division opponents, which creates a sense of urgency. Both offenses and defenses have started to identify what they have and their potential. For teams, this is also where the season can take an incredible turn for the better or worst. Therefore, it is imperative to identify key WR vs. CB matchups that could shake things up in week five.
Jonathan Joseph vs. Cole Beasley:
So far, the Dallas Cowboys have started the season being a team that is inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Whether it be coaching or execution by players, the Cowboys have yet to string things all together to earn themselves a formidable win. Part of this is due to lackluster WR play. Other pieces of the offense have had to pick up the slack and this could continue into week five against the Houston Texans. In Dallas, Beasley has emerged as the veteran who has seen the most success in a Cowboys uniform, therefore the WR core leans on him. However, the Beasley is not a true down the field threat. Additionally, the Texans secondary has seen personnel changes due to injury which has thrusted Joseph to be the anchor. Joseph has been able to rise to the occasion. In a defense loaded with talent but also somewhat inconsistent, Joseph has been one of the steady pieces. With Joseph’s play this season coupled with a defense who will continue to gel, I give Joseph the advantage over Beasley and the seemingly lackluster Cowboys receiving core.
Chris Harris Jr. vs. Quincy Enunwa
Between this season and last, the New York Jets have made strides in a positive direction. However, the team is still a work in progress. With a rookie quarterback taking over the offense, the Jets so far have experienced growing pains, but as expected. In the latter half of 2017, Enunwa emerged as one of the Jets top receiving targets and he has carried that momentum into this season. Quarterback Sam Darnold has done well with spreading the ball around to all receivers, but Enunwa has led the pack. However, the Jets run into one of the NFL’s most tenacious defenses and corners in the Denver Bronco’s Harris. Harris and Bradley Roby make for one of the NFL’s most dangerous duos. For this reason, I give the CB the advantage over the WR. Due to the Denver defense being stout complimented by Harris’ play I expect Enunwa to not have his best Sunday.
Golden Tate vs. Kevin King
The Green Bay Packers for years have always relied on elite quarterback play. The Packers offense has always figured out a way to win games with the defense keeping things afloat. This season for the Packers hasn’t been much different as they have relied on Aaron Rodgers who has been battling through a knee injury. The Packers defense has been plagued by penalties and no sense of urgency. Packers CB Kevin King will have his hands full against Tate of the Detroit Lions. Despite fighting through injury this first half of the season, Tate has been explosive. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has showcased the chemistry that he and Tate share. For them, it is clicking on all cylinders. Because Tate and the Lions offense is starting to trend upwards I give this matchup the WR advantage. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding and the Packers defense.
Tyreek Hill vs. Jalen Ramsey
Many would not bet against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense and especially Ramsey. However, in this WR vs. CB battle, I think he has met his match. Hill of the Chiefs can arguably be considered one of the fastest athletes the NFL has ever seen. Hill, who possesses Olympic level speed has created mismatches for opponents since his first day in a Chiefs uniform. In contrast, Ramsey is a very physical CB who also has the speed to defend Hill type receivers. However, I believe Hill will get the best out of Ramsey. The Chiefs run one of the most dynamic offenses in football that puts key players in positions defenses don’t anticipate. I believe the Chiefs will have a game plan to exploit Ramsey and I believe Hill will be the main culprit. Ramsey and the Jaguars defense have to respect the likes of Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins which in return will divert attention from Hill giving him the ability to make the explosive plays he is known for. Speed kills, I give the WR the advantage over the CB in Hill vs. Ramsey.