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NFL Week 14 Preview: Packers at Browns

By PFF Analysis Team
Dec 7, 2017

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GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 30: Green Bay Packers receivers Randell Cobb, left; Davante Adams, center; and Jordy Nelson, right, run off the field after they defeated the New England Patriots 26-21 at Lambeau Field on November 30, 2014. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers visit the Cleveland Browns in Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 18

Coverage by: Sam McGaw

Matchup: Green Bay Packers offense vs. Cleveland Browns defense

Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

PFFELO Ranking: 32

Coverage by: David Neumann

Matchup: Cleveland Browns offense vs. Green Bay Packers defense

  • WR Josh Gordon vs. Packers cornerbacks — Cleveland wasted no time getting Gordon involved, targeting him 11 times in his first game back after a two-year absence. A number of off-the-mark throws from DeShone Kizer meant Gordon only saw four catchable passes come his direction, but he pulled in all four, including three receptions for 76 yards against Casey Hayward, who had previously not allowed more than 22 yards into his coverage since facing Odell Beckham Jr. and the Giants in Week 5. Things should open up a bit more for Gordon this week against a Packers cornerback corps that doesn’t have an active player with more than 100 snaps and an overall grade of 60.0 or higher.
  • TE David Njoku vs. S Josh Jones — Njoku is coming off his best game of the season, hauling in 4-of-6 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown on his way to an 85.5 overall grade against the Chargers, the fourth-best grade given to a tight end last week. The former Hurricane is now averaging 1.95 yards per route run over his past six games, tied for the sixth-best figure among tight ends during that span (out of 38 qualifiers) and up significantly from the 1.15 yards per route run he averaged over his first six games (ranked 29th of 38). Njoku should primarily see Packers safety Josh Jones in coverage this week, whose 43.8 coverage grade ranks 76th out of 85 qualifying safeties this season.
  • RB Duke Johnson Jr. vs. LB Blake Martinez — Johnson has been excellent as a receiver — his 87.9 receiving grade ranks fourth among running backs — despite the lack of any other consistent receiving threats around him for most of the season. His 1.76 yards per route run ranks 11th of 50 qualifying backs on the season, and only Alvin Kamara has forced more missed tackles as a receiver (24) than Johnson (20). With the return of Gordon and Corey Coleman, plus Njoku performing better of late, Johnson could very well start to see a bit more space to operate in underneath. Martinez, who has been in coverage on a team-high 21 targets to running backs this season, is likely the linebacker Hue Jackson will attempt to isolate in coverage with Johnson. He’s been excellent in the run game this season (88.7 run-defense grade), but his 44.8 coverage grade ranks 55th of 79 qualifying linebackers.

Duke Johnson, running back, Cleveland Browns

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