Matchup Breakdown: Benjamin vs. Sherman

One of the key matchups on Saturday night will be between Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. These two should be familiar with one another after lining up across from each other a lot back in Week 8. PantherInsider.com's Brandon Croce breaks down this matchup.

If one was to Google “Richard Sherman best cornerback in the league” they would find numerous articles making that statement. They would find a video from Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly also making that same statement after the Eagles lost to Seattle. However, watching the Week 8 matchup between Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and Sherman it certainly looked like the rookie wide receiver had the better day.

Benjamin finished the day with four receptions for 94 yards, including a 51-yard reception over Sherman and safety Earl Thomas. The pass came from Cam Newton standing in his own end zone and he had enough faith that Benjamin would be able to go up and come down with the ball. Benjamin got great position on Sherman, boxing him out almost like a basketball player going up for a rebound. He was able to hold onto the ball even with Sherman on his back.

*Photos courtesy of NFL Game Rewind

 

For every great catch Benjamin has, he also has what should be simple receptions slip through his hands. The play that sticks out most came much earlier in the game when he dropped a touchdown pass in the second quarter.

It was a perfectly called play with Jerricho Cotchery going in motion across the field and lining up behind Benjamin. At the snap, the rookie wide receiver headed towards the left sideline before circling back to the center of the field running across the back of the end zone.

*Photos courtesy of NFL Game Rewind

 

Meanwhile, Cotchery cut underneath Benjamin towards the left sideline and caused Sherman to bump into his teammate. This gave Benjamin plenty of separation and Newton a perfect target for the pass.

*Photos courtesy of NFL Game Rewind

 

Unfortunately the play didn’t end in six as the ball slipped right through Benjamin’s hands and the Panthers had to settle for a field goal.

*Photos courtesy of NFL Game Rewind

If the Panthers want to win on Saturday, they can’t have these type of mistakes from their number one wide receiver. Benjamin has all the physical tools to be one of the premier wide receivers in the game but has to correct this last part of his game.

This should be an exciting matchup to watch between two great athletes and whoever has the better day could be a huge factor in deciding the outcome of the game.


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