Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Patriots DBs to face another tall task in Nelson, Cobb


If you thought things would get any easier for the New England Patriots secondary a week after facing Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, think again, as the Pats DBs will now have to worry about Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in their showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has done a nice job thus far this season with his defensive backs in terms of scheming for the league’s top receivers. He sounded off on his newest challenge this week.

“Obviously, they are two of the most explosive and most competitive and extremely difficult to cover receivers in the league,” Patricia said this week, via “I think they both possess great ball skills, the ability to control their body, track the ball through the air. They have great hands.”

It will be interesting to see how Patricia attacks Nelson and Cobb. They are strikingly similar to Detroit’s Johnson and Tate, matchup-wise. Nelson is more of a physical receiver than Cobb, which could prompt Belichick and Patricia to stick the big Brandon Browner on him as they did with Calvin Johnson. However, Nelson’s speed on the outside could present a mismatch for No. 39.

Cobb also brings good speed to the table, which could prompt the coaches to search for a third option.

Kyle Arrington?

Arrington did a nice job a couple weeks ago against the Colts’ speedy wide out T.Y. Hilton, holding him to just three catches for 27 yards, both season lows.

We’ll assume Revis will float around the field again, as he did this past Sunday, picking up assignments on both Nelson and Cobb.

Regardless of how you play them, the Patriots secondary has shown throughout the season it can handle pretty much anything thrown at them. Aside from Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas in Week 9, the Pats secondary has not allowed a 100-yard receiving game by a wide receiver all season. For the record, they’ve allowed just four pass catchers to do it all season, including tight ends Scott Chandler of the Bills (105 yards in Week 6) and Coby Fleener (144 yards in Week 11).

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