We are quickly approaching the half-way mark of the NFL season, teams are starting to either sink or swim. This week presents several league altering matchups that can dictate the success and/or failure of many teams. With offensive and defensive units finding their repour, week seven presents several challenges for both WR’s and CB’s. Here, I will highlight circumstances in which a teams’ WR or CB has the advantage in their respective matchups.
Josh Norman vs. Cole Beasley:
The Washington Redskins defense has several talented pieces, with one being the highly regarded Norman. The Redskins CB has had an up and down year, but that has come at the expense of his team and their success. In contrast, the Dallas Cowboys have no true #1 WR, but Beasley has stepped in and led the pack. Even though he is found mostly in the slot, Beasley creates a matchup that Norman and the Redskins can’t ignore. With no outside help, Beasley will have the responsibility of having to come up with big plays for the Cowboys, however, with a lack of support, and the skill of Norman, I expect the CB to have the advantage over this WR in this key matchup.
Logan Ryan vs. Keenan Allen:
Hampered by injuries early in this career, Allen has emerged as one of the most dynamic WR’s in the league. However, the success of his fellow Charger WR’s has caused a drop in his production as of late. Ryan of the Titans has proved since his Patriot days that he can play from sideline to sideline. As a leader of the Titans defense, Ryan takes on the responsibility of matching up with the opponent’s best player. I believe that the Titans and Ryan will find their footing and take the advantage over Allen. Since the Chargers offense has spread the ball along with Ryan’s leadership and talent, I give the CB the advantage over Allen and the Chargers receiving core.
Mike Evans vs. Denzel Ward:
The Browns defense and Ward have proved doubters wrong all season. As a top ten pick in last year’s NFL draft, the expectations for Ward were large. But, Ward has lived up to the hype. However, he will meet his match against Evans and the Buccaneers offense. With unique size and speed to match, Evans creates a matchup that will give him the advantage over Ward and the Browns secondary. The athleticism and size of Evans will create space Ward will be able to prevent. Due to Ward’s youth and the size of Evans, I give the Buccaneers WR the advantage over the young Browns CB.
A.J. Green vs. Kendall Fuller:
To the surprise of many, the Bengals have emerged as one of the NFL best and most consistent teams. A large part of that is due to the play of Green. The Pro Bowler is having yet another strong season as he attempts to leave his mark as one of the best WR’s the league has ever witnessed. In contrast, Fuller, despite being part of an inconsistent defense has played well throughout the first half of the season. However, he will have his hands full against Green and the Bengals pass attack. Without much support around him, Fuller has taken the responsibility of handling the opponents’ best players from week to week. With the recent surge of big plays by Green and the success of the Bengals offense, I give the WR the advantage over Fuller and the Chiefs secondary.