Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison is coming off a very impressive eight-catch, 145-yard, two-touchdown game in New England. This week it will be the duty of Buffalo Bills cornerback Terrence McGee to make sure Harrison does not have a repeat performance.
McGee, though, has had an extremely turbulent season so far. For example, in their Week 7 game against New England, Bills head coach Dick Jauron benched McGee in the third quarter after watching his cornerback get beat repeatedly. The New England game, however, was not an anomaly -- teams have frequently and successfully attacked McGee's side this season.
The biggest problem seems to be that McGee is not yet comfortable in the Bills' new Tampa 2 defensive scheme that new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has implemented. McGee has been out of position too often and too many receivers are getting by him.
The writers over at Bills Daily expressed their concern about this matchup earlier this week.
"The way McGee has played this year, this is a major mismatch. Harrison could have a field day against the underachieving corner," they said. And at ColtPower this week, Bills Digest's Mark Ludwiczak said in our Behind Enemy Lines feature that McGee's "a good person and a stand-up guy in the Buffalo locker room, but he's been absolutely awful for most of this season."
As evidenced last week, at age 34 Marvin Harrison shows no signs of slowing down. What makes Harrison so great is the way he prepares himself each week. He knows how to get open because he understands coverages, prepares for every game, communicates with Manning very well and runs precise routes. Honestly, there is no better receiver in the league when it comes to precision route-running. This aspect of his game should give McGee all sorts of headaches. McGee has a tendency to be a bit overaggressive and bites too often on fakes and double moves. Two people who certainly know these facts and McGee's tendencies after watching film on him this week are Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.
Expect the Colts to test the corner, but likewise expect to see plenty of
double and even triple coverage schemes come Harrison's way. But that could be
all for naught if Buffalo's safeties freeze on a play-action or fall for a fake,
which is entirely possible when you consider the Bills start two rookies at
safety -- Donte Whitner and Bo Simpson. If and when this happens, it will mean
an "underachieving" Terrence McGee will be on an island against a
perennial Pro-Bowler and future Hall of Fame receiver.
McGee knows he has something to prove this week. And nothing would help his coach and even Bill fans regain confidence in him than a solid performance covering Marvin Harrison on Sunday.