Arizona Cardinals Cover Corners Should Switch Duties In The Lions Match-up
By Earl Burnett
The Arizona Cardinals secondary will have their collective hands full verses the explosive Detroit Lions wide receivers.
Starting with their number one star Calvin (megatron) Johnson and his equally as dangerous side-kick Golden Tate. These two are dynamic together and Johnson returning for his second game after an ankle injury, will be more back to form and will present a big problem.
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The Cardinals are not without weapons to fight this battle, as they have two of the league’s best cover corners on the outside and two good safeties as well.
It has been said that star corner Patrick Peterson will shadow Johnson all day, but that may be the trap that the Lions want the Cards to fall into. Peterson would be served better to shadow Tate, and Cromartie with his lack of speed should cover Johnson. Peterson can stay with the speed of Golden Tate better than Cromartie can. As well as Cromartie being taller and long and able to match the presence of Calvin Johnson better.
Both the Cardinals cover men are physical and that will be needed throughout this match-up. Antonio Cromartie is currently 10th in the league for defensed passes, as he has been a better cover guy this year so far, with exception of a disaster in Denver verses Damarius Thomas. The key reason for his hardship in Denver was speed, which is all the more reason he should cover Johnson in this game with safety help over the top.
This will be a give and take game on defense, the key will be give up short passes and not the deep variety. Last year it was obvious that Peterson had to cover Johnson all day, because the Lions lacked a complimentary receiver in their offense. Tate brings a scary element and that is speed, which Peterson is more equipped to match up with. Peterson’s physicality would actually take Golden Tate out of this game. If I’m defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, I would take my chances on Cromartie on Johnson and take the threat of Tate getting deep out of the game. Leaving Cromartie to match-up with the speed of Tate is just asking for Detroit Lions big plays all day.
Perhaps they can switch off throughout the game to give them different looks, but an all-day thing may be bad for the Cardinals defense in this game .