This article will go game by game for the Sunday main slate 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 2020 season, though sometimes with reference to prior years when noted.
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. Even against a bad corner, a good receiver can be denied the opportunity if the pass rush or something else outside his control complicates things. 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.
MIN vs DET
MINNESOTA WIDE RECEIVERS
Desmond Trufant (36.1 PFF) might be able to return from his hamstring injury this week, and if he does he may or may not shadow either of Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson. Considering the substantial threat posed by both, the Lions might instead opt to keep Trufant on