Greg Jennings may have been frustrated after the Cincy game, but he should take some comfort in knowing that there are other stud #1 WRs who had a similarly frustrating experience against the unheralded Cincy pass defense.
Thanks to a friend of mine I’ll call Steve, because that’s his name, for mentioning that Cincy’s pass D had been good against #1 WRs. It inspired me to do some amateur statistical sleuthing to see just how good they’ve been. Here is what I’ve come up with:
- In 5 games, depending on whom you consider to be Pittsburgh’s #1 WR (Hines Ward or Santonio Holmes), the Cincy defense has given up either 109 TOTAL PASS YARDS to the opposing teams’ #1 WR (if you consider Ward to be #1) or 45 TOTAL PASS YARDS yards (if you consider Holmes to be #1). That’s TOTAL PASS YARDS – unreal for 5 games.
- In 3 of those games, they have shut out the #1 WR completely, meaning zero catches, zero yards.
- Week 1 – Brandon Marshall 4 rec 27 yds; week 2 – Greg Jennings zero; week 3 – Hines Ward 4 rec 82 yds/Santonio Holmes 1 rec 18 yds; week – 4 Braylon Edwards zero; week – 5 Derrick Mason zero.
While other WRs on these teams have made plays and even had decent days (Donald Driver 6, 99, 1TD for example), Cincy has apparently been focusing on shutting down the #1 WR and succeeding at it. I can’t help but wonder what role succeeding at this has played in their winning.
I am very interested to see what they do this week against the guy I consider to be the best WR in the NFL: Andre Johnson. If they shut him down, I’m pretty sure other NFL teams will start watching every second of game film on Cincy’s defense to figure out what they’re doing.