Baltimore Ravens Keys To Victory: Pittsburgh Steelers Edition
By Brett Foote
Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) is tackled after a catch by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Keys To Victory #4: Put Jimmy Smith on Antonio Brown
The definition of “shutdown” corner is one that can effectively take away the impact of a team’s number one wide receiver in a game. There are a few examples of this around the league: Darrelle Revis, Aqib Talib, Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson. Some even criticize Richard Sherman for playing sides and not shadowing opposing wide receivers. It’s a great litmus test for cornerbacks if they can minimize an elite wide receiver’s impact on the outcome of a game.
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Even though many feel that Jimmy Smith is an emerging shutdown corner, the Ravens opted to play sides on Sunday, leaving the likes of Chykie Brown one-on-one with A.J. Green for the game winning 77 yard touchdown catch. Green, a top 5 wide receiver in the NFL, promptly made Brown and safety Darian Stewart look foolish while he pranced to the end zone.
Antonio Brown, the number one wide receiver for the Steelers, is emerging as an elite player himself after reeling in an astounding 1,499 yards receiving in 2013 with 8 touchdowns. He most recently torched the Brown’s secondary on Sunday by catching 5 balls for 116 yards and a touchdown on 6 targets. If the Ravens have any prayer of stopping him, they need to shadow Brown with Smith. Pretty please, Dean Pees?