2015 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

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group