This article is part of our Corner Report series.
This article will go game by game looking at the top wide receivers from an offense and, based on the inside/outside and left/right splits in the alignment data of those receivers, identify the cornerbacks most likely to face them in man coverage. The corners named will parenthetically cite the rank of their coverage grade from Pro Football Focus from the 2018 season.
Receivers very rarely see the same corner every play, be it due to formational quirks or zone coverage calls by the defense, so a receiver's fortunes depend on much more than just the quality of the corner they're likely to see the most in a given game. But it's part of the puzzle, and it's worth keeping track of.
Receivers are left with an Upgrade, Downgrade, or Even verdict based on their projected matchup. This shouldn't be read as 'good' or 'bad' but rather a measured tweak from the receiver's baseline projection. So for instance, I name Jaron Brown as one player with an upgrade based on matchup, but his baseline is low enough that it shouldn't matter for many people. Similarly, I name Davante Adams as a downgrade, but that's not to say anyone should bench him as a result. These are relative assessments that mean to clarify a range of outcomes, not declare the outcome itself ahead of time.
PIT vs SEA
Juju Smith-Schuster: 60 snaps – 15 wide (five left, 10 right), 44 slot (25 left, 19 right), one tight (one right)