Matchup #1: D.K. Metcalf (WR) vs James Bradberry (CB)
This will be the game’s most intriguing individual matchup.
Both of these players are playing at a top-3 level at their respective position. D.K. Metcalf has exploded onto the NFL scene since his rookie year in 2019. He is known for his rare combination of speed, size, strength, and explosiveness. Metcalf is a 6’4 230-pound man who runs a 4.33 while being able to jump 40 inches high, and can put up 27 reps at 225 on the bench press.
Coach Judge put it best, there aren’t many guys walking the planet like D.K. Metcalf. He truly is a unique player at receiver and his numbers this year back up his ridiculous measurements and unteachable athletic gifts. In 2020, Metcalf has 58 catches for 1039 yards and nine touchdowns. He is first in the league in receiving yards, 5th for receiving touchdowns, and 3rd in the league with a ridiculous 17.9 yards per reception.
Asking James Bradberry to stop D.K. is no small task.
However, if any corner is up for it, Bradberry would top the list. #24 for NY has been playing lights out football for 12 weeks straight. Every single week, Bradberry has come in, kept his head down and remained quiet, and then completely blanket and shut down his opposing receiver.
Bradberry leads the league with the most pass breakups, forced incompletions, and the highest single coverage grade all year according to PFF. If last year is a blueprint, Bradberry and the Panthers defense limited Metcalf to just two catches for 36 yards. Look for Bradberry to take on the responsibility of shadowing Metcalf wherever he lines up Sunday whether it’s on the outside or in the slot.
The Giants can only hope that Bradberry and the NY Giants defense does as good a job as the Panthers and Bradberry did last year on D.K. Metcalf. If the defense can limit Metcalf’s presence and impact in the game, the GMen have a much better shot at pulling off a miraculous upset this week.