Having a cornerback that you can assign to a single receiver for an entire game is a luxury. Fortunately for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers- they have just that. D.J. Moore is the Carolina Panthers top receiver and led the team with nine targets in week one against the Las Vegas Raiders. Come Sunday, Moore will have a shadow for the entire game in the shape of Bucs cornerback, Carlton Davis. If we’ve learned anything from previous games, this spells disaster for Moore.
Carlton Davis is a nightmare for receivers
Davis has been near shutdown level on some of the NFL’s most elite receivers over his last 4 shadow matchups. Last season Davis held -then- Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins to just five catches for 23 yards and no touchdowns. Michael Thomas finished the game last week with 17 yards on three receptions. Julio Jones has been the recipient of two shadow games from Davis last season. Totaling 12 catches for 146 yards (5-68 and 7-78) in those outings. In all six games, dating back to last season, Davis has not allowed his assignment to score.
Carlton Davis is projected to shadow D.J. Moore Sunday. His previous 4 career shadow matchups:
🔹 Julio Jones (x2): 5-68-0, 7-78-0
🔹 DeAndre Hopkins: 5-23-0
🔹 Michael Thomas: 3-17-0@Ihartitz breaks down every WR/CB matchup in Week 2 here ➡️ https://t.co/ekisvLJAMh pic.twitter.com/BJ5rfkAW2o
— PFF (@PFF) September 18, 2020
Head coach Bruce Arians called Davis a “top 10 cornerback” after the Buccaneers and Texans game last season, and he hasn’t been proven wrong on that assessment yet. A defensive coordinator’s dream is to have a guy that you can rely on to shadow receivers. “The mental part of his game after being in the scheme for a year and understanding how to play certain guys and certain formations has really helped him,” Todd Bowles said of the cornerback during Thursday’s press conference.
Davis will look to continue his progression towards quietly becoming one of the NFL’s premier shutdown corners on Sunday. Both the Bucs and the Panthers lost in week one, and can’t afford a 0-2 divisional record.