NFL Week 14 Preview: Packers at Browns
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
- WR Davante Adams vs. CB Jason McCourty – Adams is ranked 10th at his position with a wide receiver rating of 118.4. He averages a team-high 1.70 receiving yards per route run. In addition, he’s caught seven passes that were targeted 20-plus yards downfield for 250 yards and two touchdowns this season. He’s caught nine passes for 243 yards and five touchdowns on go routes. Adams’ overall grade of 80.8 ranks 22nd among receivers. McCourty has given up only three catches for 85 yards on go routes this season. His overall grade of 87.6 is ranked 10th among cornerbacks. He’s allowed 1.19 receiving yards per coverage snap, and quarterbacks throwing at him have averaged a passer rating of 76.5.
- T David Bakhtiari vs. Edge Myles Garrett – Bakhtiari’s pass-blocking efficiency of 98.5 and overall grade of 87.0 are the highest marks for an offensive tackle this season. He’s allowed five total pressures, including only one sack. Garrett ranks 21st among edge defenders with a pass-rushing productivity of 11.1. He has a pass-rushing grade of 84.3 and a run-defense grade of 86.2.
- RB Jamaal Williams vs. LB Joe Schobert – Williams’ elusive rating of 39.2 over the last four weeks ranks 16th among running backs. He’s also gotten the job done in the passing game during that span, averaging 1.65 receiving yards per route run. He approaches Week 14 with an overall grade of 72.3. Schobert leads all linebackers with 33 run stops. While he has a run-stop percentage of 9.8, his eight missed tackles are the third-most for his position. While Schobert owns an overall grade of 68.9, his run-defense mark of 78.2 ranks 25th among linebackers.
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.