Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Texans-Raiders matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at O.co Coliseum
Texans WR Andre Johnson vs. Raiders CBs Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Chimdi Chekwa
Tale of the tape:
Johnson (80): 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, 12th season, Miami
Brown (23): 6 feet, 190 pounds, eighth season, Texas; Rogers (27): 6 feet, 195 pounds, 19th season, Auburn; Chekwa (35): 6 feet, 190, third season, Ohio State
Whether Johnson is headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame or not, he’ll still be considered among the best receivers of his era.
We shouldn’t refer to him in the past tense because, even at age 33, he’s still one of the best in the game. He’s had seven seasons over one thousand yards, including a 1,407-yard campaign during a dismal 2-14 campaign. Johnson is new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target, leaving the Raiders to find a creative ways to stop him.
Johnson should move around the field some, but it seems like Rogers will draw the assignment in the base defense, ceding outside duties to Chekwa in the nickel package. Brown played well last week and wasn’t targeted, though Rogers gave up eight receptions on as many targets, though most were short passes. Chekwa will make his season debut after missing last week with a knee strain.
No matter which corner draws Johnson, it’ll be a tough assignment at a size disadvantage.
“He’s been a great player in this league for a long time, and the thing about Andre is he runs great routes, and he’s a big target to throw the ball to,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “He can run the underneath routes as well as beat you vertically down the field. Obviously that’s been a big focus this week, of understanding where he’s going to be.”