2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Seattle's big CBs face challenge in Atlanta's WRs

    2013-01-11 05:59

(Updates. With AP Photos.)
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Taken individually, Roddy White and Julio Jones rank among the NFL's elite at wide receiver.

As a tandem, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman doesn't know if there is a better duo.

``As a tandem, they're probably the top tandem out there,'' Sherman said. ``It's going to be a tough matchup for us, but it's fun to play against good players.''

Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game between Seattle and Atlanta will feature a fascinating matchup between Sherman and fellow Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner and the Falcons' receiving duo of White and Jones.

It's the big, physical cornerbacks of the Seahawks, who because of their skills allow Seattle's defense to be unique, against the big, physical and fast receivers who make the Falcons' offense go.

``I expect our guys to try to play like they always play. They don't need to change anything because we're not doing anything different, we're going to try and hang with them, and we'll find out what happens,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ``This is probably the best pair and pair that you could match up, and because of the size, and because of their physical nature in the way that they play, it's going to be really exciting to see.''

While neither was the Falcons' leading receiver - that honor went to tight end Tony Gonzalez - White and Jones are coming off excellent regular seasons. White had more catches with 92 versus Jones' 79. Jones caught more touchdowns with 10, compared to White's seven. They combined for more than 2,500 yards receiving.

But Browner and Sherman were stars on the defensive side. They combined for 11 interceptions - despite Browner missing four games due to suspension - and 30 passes defensed, with 24 of those by Sherman.

Whoever wins those matchups likely won't be the most important element in Sunday's game. But it could be the most entertaining.

``Everybody is talking about it,'' Atlanta center Todd McClure said. ``They've got good corners. We've got good receivers. I think when you look back on this game Sunday afternoon, whoever wins that matchup will probably be successful on the field. There's a lot more to it, but I think that will be one deciding factor.''

The size of Seattle's cornerbacks - Sherman is 6-foot-3 and Browner is 6-4 - makes for a rare occasion where White and Jones don't possess a major advantage. White goes 6-foot, while Jones is 6-foot-3. The length the two cornerbacks present makes it tougher to find throwing windows and requires more trust between quarterback and receiver.

``Roddy is more crafty of a route runner. He uses different tricks and things. You can see he's a veteran when he's route running,'' Sherman said. ``Julio runs hard routes and plays the game more physical, I think. He's stronger in his routes, he uses his body more.''

Seeing strong, physical wide receivers won't be new for Browner and Sherman. They played against Larry Fitzgerald twice this season and also faced Chicago's Brandon Marshall, Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Dallas' Dez Bryant. Marshall had the biggest day with 10 catches for 165 yards, but Johnson (three catches, 45 yards), Bryant (three, 17 yards) and Fitzgerald (five, 65 yards in two games) were all held in check.

They also have a little bit of experience against Jones and White. The Falcons played at Seattle in Week 4 of 2011. At that time, Sherman was a backup used only when Seattle went to six defensive backs. Jones was clearly the favorite target of quarterback Matt Ryan that day, making 11 receptions and 127 yards.

There are plenty of other concerns for the Seahawks defense, starting with Gonzalez and the versatility of Jacquizz Rodgers out of the backfield. But the skill-position showdown on the outside will be worth keeping an eye on.

``You just have to be accurate with the football and trust in the guys that we have,'' Ryan said. ``We have big, physical wide receivers, as well. You have to trust that they're going to win on their routes.''

---

AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Flowery Branch, Ga., contributed to this report.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group