• September 27, 2022

Great Matchups: Julio Jones and Roddy White Vs. DRC and Nnamdi

We’re going to get the chance to see a number of outstanding match-ups when the Falcons battle the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. The Birds cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha will be competing against Atlanta’s duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones.

All of these players have good size in NFL terms.  They also have good speed.  I could see the Birds matching DRC against White and putting Asomugha against Jones.  White and DRC are the quicker of the four athletes.

White is the more experienced of the two Falcons wide outs, while Jones is bigger 6’3″ 200 lbs.,  and more physical.  The former Alabama standout may be the faster of two wide outs, when you’re talking about straight ahead speed, but both of these receivers can get deep on anybody.

DRC can run with either of the wide outs when you’re talking about a straight go route.  I don’t know if Nmandi can still run with these guys, even though the veteran corner can open up when he needs to do so.

Asomugha is the more physical of the two Bird’s defenders, but he’ll have a handful in trying to hold up Jones at the line of scrimmage.  It’s going to be a serious battle and I expect to see at least a couple of flags to be thrown during what is sure to a be punishing battle.

New Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was asked what team are doing to stop White and Jones.

“Whatever it is, it’s not working,” Bowles said. “Those two guys are probably, arguably, the best two in the league, size-wise, speed-wise, and what they have that a lot of big guys don’t have [is] they can run patterns as well, as well as block. You’ve got to pick your spots. There’s only one football, luckily, and you’re forgetting Gonzalez is in that mix as well as [running back] Michael Turner. So, it’s going to be tough.”

At this point in the season, White has caught 37 passes for 553 yards with four touchdowns.  Jones has caught 30 passes for 376  yards and four touchdowns.  Julio is in only his second year, so he’s got a big upside and seems to have a better understanding of the passing game this year.

The X factors in these wide receiver-cornerback battles will be the level of pressure which the Eagles defensive line is able to put on Matt Ryan and what types of defenses will new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles decide to use.  Ryan must be forced to roll to his left.  He doesn’t have the quickest of feet, so forcing him to his left will negate some of his ability to throw on the run.

The other factor will be future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez and how the Falcons decide to utilize him.  I don’t know if they’re going to put the diminutive Brandon Boykin on him and Brandon Hughes had a horrible game against the Lions.

Will the Birds decide to move Asomugha inside at times against Gonzalez or will they let rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks guard him?  I’ll get into detail about dealing with Gonzalez in a later article.

As you can see, the Falcons have an abundance of weapons, so this won’t be an easy job.   Atlanta seems to have put more of the game in Ryan’s hands, so he’s free to change plays at the line and take advantage of whatever he deems to be a match up in their advantage.

Bowles will need to mix things up by showing Ryan and company different looks, especially on third downs.  I want to see him show overloads to one side, then send the blitz at Ryan from the other side.  He could do this with a zone blitz where you go after the quarterback but don’t risk giving up the big play deep.

I can’t emphasize enough the need for this secondary to learn how to “stem” into blitzes.  That means you start out in one look, but by the time the ball is snapped you’re in a completely different look.  This is especially true of the safeties because quarterbacks read the safeties first to decipher the coverage.

Ryan is an experienced quarterback, so they must keep him guessing or they’re going to make his job very easy.  I would like to see them use the walk around technique where they have all eleven defensive players on their feet and in two point stances until the ball in snapped.

You’ve got be imaginative as a defensive coordinator when you’re facing an experienced quarterback, who has seem just about every kind of defensive look.  Bowles can’t copy Juan Castillo by sending four defensive linemen after the quarterback and dropping everybody else into coverage on every play.

At the professional level in nearly all the sports, you can’t tell the opponent what you’re going to do without any element of disguise and be consistently successful.


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October 25, 2012 4:11 pm

ha – now this is what I’m talking about…good article, about the upcoming game, no negativity, love it!
I think DRC matches up on White, Nnamdi on Jones, Kendricks will probably get the duty of covering Kendricks….I’d be a little worried about putting other DB’s on Jones/White other than those previously mentioned. Its going to be a good battle on both sides of the ball…Asante on DJAX, Robinson on Maclin…however, I expect Maclin to have a big day…The last two times Maclin has played against the Falcolns he has had big games. I expect the same. I think the Eagles have to get Celek involved in the passing game, should be able to get some big plays. Only if we could execute the screen game, the way the Falcons defense plays, down hill, the Eagles could really catch them a few times on a screen.

October 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Julius Jones in the slot will own CB Boynkin.. Roddy White will torch Asmo for at least 1 big play down the Field…
Who is going to cover TE Gonzo… Safety COleman…
Who is goign to tackle RB Michael Turner and the Falcons have a very dangerous Scat back named Jaquizz Rodgers who has D-Jax type of Speed
coming out of the backfield on swing passes, screens, reverses and in the Return Game…..

October 25, 2012 4:20 pm

As far as Eagles DB Coverages go,
I would put DRC on Jones all game long, Asmo does not have the foot speed to stay with him and then lest Asmo take the slower Roddy White and take your chances that way, there is no way Asmo can stay with Julius Jones all game, no way, no how…

October 25, 2012 4:33 pm

Douglas is there slot receiver isnt he?

If your gonna nickname Nmandi….at least have it be a cool nickname,and not something that makes no sense.Nice try though Paul.

Send the house from several angles,good call G. Send MK a few times early and let em tatto that dude.

October 25, 2012 4:35 pm

I thought it was supposed to pour rain on Sunday. Might put a damper on the passing attacke…..though probably won’t deter Reid!

Paulman….enough with being scared of Michael Turner and the Falcon’s “run game”. 1 – Turner’s pretty much finished and 2 – Atl doesn’t run the ball. They’re 263 pass calls vs 124 RB calls….just about the same as the Eagles.

In fact, if it is pouring rain, it might be a pretty funny game to watch while both teams throw the ball 75% of the time and we get to watch the ball clunking to the ground all afternoon.

October 25, 2012 4:59 pm

so pman, how much are we going to lose by?? you make every team we have played sound like an unstoppable force and we have no chance. Its funny how the Falcons are 6-0 and you make them sound like they’re SB bound and they could have easily been 3-3 or 4-2 but that’s irrelevant because they’re not the eagles. Yet, you harp on what the Eagles record “could have” and “should have” been even though they’re 3-3. sounds a little hypocritical to me not to mention your gloom and doom mentality.

October 25, 2012 7:09 pm

Andy Reid have sucked the “hope” out of the Eagle’s fan base. Another year viewing the same BullS%it.

What make this frustrating is that Andy creates the problems that cost us fans seasons.

From not getting wide receivers in Mcnabb’s prime, to taking the franchise tag off of the middle linebacker in the prime of his career, to placing Mahe in for returns, to letting Shelodn Brown go with no replacement, to haggling with Dawk claiming he lost a step only for him to do 2 pro bowls afterwards, to letting Spags get to the Giants and win a Superbowl, to McDermotts promotion and firing wasting 2 seasons, to handing the defensive keys to an offensive line coach.

Let’s face it guys.

Andy Reid is what he is and many can argue this team won in spite of him…not because of him.

He was always a terrible game day coach, with wasted timeouts and poor clock management.

He should have never been given last say over personnel.

We are now looking at an Andy Reid team without the leaders and exceptional players from Ray Rhodes who were the nucleus of our winning years.

Look at this team guys!!!!!

This is Andy Reid.


October 26, 2012 6:23 am

Paulman I have seen the Falcons against that jaugernaut Carolina team.I have seen the Falcons against that jaugernaut Raiders team. lol. Lets not get carried away with how good the “I havent beat a team with a winning record” Falcons are. They are a solid team but hardly a untouchable machine. Seems to me alot of teams dont have all-pro DBs and were able to stay in the game. My goodness.

October 26, 2012 6:26 am

Another thing is Preseason warriors like Nick Foles, who everyone is calling for. Ask Phillip Hunt if there is a difference between preseason and the regular season. How is that preseason warrior doing? A little different when teams actually have a game plan.

crazy johnny
crazy johnny
October 26, 2012 7:01 am

Anybody watch the bucks/vikes? Teo-nesheim starts for the bucs…..wasn’t he a bust?? Another fine evaluation

October 26, 2012 7:08 am

Daniel T- has 16 tackles and 2 sacks……,would be a solid rotational guy

Reid and Roseman need to go

October 26, 2012 7:10 am

Falcons are beatable as their defense is not the greatest, if the Eagles dont get pressure they will get killed…

I think its going to play out like the Ravens game…..Eagles 27 Falcons 24

crazy johnny
crazy johnny
October 26, 2012 7:11 am


I hear ya bud…….Andy’s first mistake as eagles coach–cutting Brian finneran and then having a wr void for 5 years. His latest mistake set the defense back 3 years. The end is near.

October 26, 2012 9:11 am

Teo would be a Sack Leader with his current Sacks if he was on the EAgles..
As far as calling this Game,
I think Eagles win rather handily — 27-16
(Falcons have struggled the last couple of games against inferior Teams and really should be 4-2, also they historically have not been a good road Team when traveling up North to play..)
If Eagles can get McCoy incvolved early and often, they should win this game going away.. If Eagles have VIck throw 40+ Times, they will lose..
I actually expect Vick to have a good game against his former Team
In the big scheme, this game does not mean as much for the 6-0 Falcons who have a comfortable 2-3 Game cushion in the NFC South, an Eagles loss Sunday would be their 3rd to an NFC Conference Team already and unless they would run the Table versus NFC East DIvisional Teams, their Playoff Chances would be fleeting at best..
Either way, I don’t think the Eagles are a Playoff type Team regardless of what the outcome is Sunday.. They are too undisciplined too predictable and have too many wussies on their squad and lack Leadership which is what many have been saying for about the last 4 Seasons with this Eagles group

jimmy mac
jimmy mac
October 26, 2012 8:24 pm

Paul, if it wasn’t for the fact that I appreciate your musical knowledge, you’d be totally worthless. Just because you type alot does not mean you think alot.