Falcons-Browns matchup of the day: Wednesday

Posted Oct. 06, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Here's a closer look at a matchup to watch in Sunday's Falcons-Browns game:

Falcons WRs Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Michael Jenkins vs. the Browns' secondary

In Week Four, the Browns determined the Bengals' top receiving threat was Chad Ochocinco and frequently double-teamed him. 

The result? The Bengals targeted Ochocinco just five times, and he caught three passes for 59 yards and no TDs.

However, while the Browns slowed Ochocinco, they had little success stopping Terrell Owens, and it almost cost them dearly. Owens caught 10 passes for 222 yards, highlighted by a 78-yard TD when he beat RCB Sheldon Brown one-on-one on a deep pattern.

If the Browns are to try and double-team White, who has a team-high 32 catches for 362 yards and two TDs, it could open opportunities elsewhere. Certainly TE Tony Gonzalez (19-205-1) remains capable of capitalizing if Ryan has to look elsewhere, but can Douglas and/or Jenkins (who has missed all four games this season with a shoulder injury) step up if the Browns decide to focus on White? Douglas has only nine catches but has flashed some playmaking ability at times and had a 34-yard catch last week. Jenkins is a big target without top speed but does have 41 catches of 20 yards or more in his career.

Both Brown and Eric Wright have given up big plays in consecutive weeks. You would have to think the Falcons are going to test the Browns' corners. And how Cleveland decides to deal with White will be very interesting to watch, for it could tell the tale on how the Falcons' other receivers are used. 

If the Browns single-cover White, Falcons QB Matt Ryan won't hesitate to frequently look his way. Ryan targeted White 23 times against Pittsburgh, with White catching 13 passes for 111 yards. However, the Steelers didn't allow White to have a reception of longer than 18 yards, and he did not score a touchdown. In short, if the Browns let White have his catches, they have to be sound tacklers.