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Matching Texans’ Rookie Derek Stingley Against Broncos’ WRs Sutton and Jeudy

Who will the rookie guard tomorrow?

NFL: AUG 19 Preseason - Texans at Rams Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Derek Stingley era in the Houston Texans’ defense has begun... and let’s say it wasn’t the cleanest start of all time.

Stingley allowed the second most receiving yards in Week One of the NFL Season. Though he did have a miraculous TD-saving play, Matt Ryan took advantage of him throughout the game.

The Texans will face another veteran QB in Russell Wilson this Sunday. Wilson had a solid but losing outing in Seattle and will look to bounce back in his first game playing for the Broncos in Denver.

Wilson has at his disposal one of the premier young WR duos in the league. Receivers Jerry Jeudy and Cortland Sutton possess fairly different skillsets and thus require different coverage and treatment from opposing defenses.

Cortland Sutton is the hulking 6’4” receiver out of SMU entering his fifth season in the league. He’s generally considered to have underperformed outside of his 1,112 yard, six TD season in 2019. However, Wilson is expected to elevate the pass catcher to new heights.

Sutton’s god-given skillset makes him a formidable red zone and third down target. He is usually the X receiver and rarely lines up in the slot. Wilson targeted him several times on Monday Night Football deep against another rookie corner but wasn’t able to come up with any key catches.

Jerry Jeudy is the slick route runner out of Alabama who the Broncos took in the first round three seasons ago. He primarily lines up in the slot or as the Y receiver and is among the shiftiest players on the field. Jeudy is 6’1” and is excellent at getting open in between zone coverages. Guarding Jeudy 1-on-1 is near impossible, but so far he too has yet to put up monster numbers he was known for at Alabama.

Between the two, Derek Stingley is a better man-to-man corner who can cover the deep ball if necessary and play press in tight coverages at ease.

Desmond King III usually holds down any slot receiver needs and allowed Steven Nelson and Stingley to play on the outside in Week One against the Colts.

Nelson is 5’11” and the more veteran corner. However, he’s sometimes exposed against larger, more physical receivers. That wouldn’t be a good matchup against the Broncos’ Sutton down the field.

Stingley should naturally take the coverage duty of Cortland Sutton. Sutton will be a challenge due to his length and ability to sneak between coverages. Stingley’s size will be a huge factor in his ability to stick with the potential breakout wide receiver. If he rookie is able to maintain his coverage discipline and not get beaten over the top, he can hold his own in an important matchup to evaluate his progress and potential stardom in the league.