Giants cornerback James Bradberry had a challenging week last week thanks to an undisclosed family matter that he chose to deal with after getting the blessing from head coach Joe Judge.
But while he was away from the team, Bradberry stayed locked into what it was doing through Zoom meetings. He would then have himself a solid day against the Bengals, holding their receivers to two receptions for 15 yards and one pass breakup as part of a performance that earned him a game ball.
This week, Bradberry potentially faces a different type of challenge though one he’s no stranger to facing. The Giants will travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, a team whose offense is driven by quarterback Russell Wilson and whose top receivers, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are more than enough to make it a long day for opposing cornerbacks.
The expectation is that Bradberry will draw 6-foot-4 Metcalf in coverage, a receiver who last week destroyed Darius Slay of the Eagle to the tune of eight receptions (out of 11 pass targets) for 158 yards.
Should Bradberry draw Metcalf, he feels that his previous history guarding the big physical receivers in the NFC South has well equipped him for this challenge.
“I had to deal with a lot of big, physical receivers that could run,” Bradberry said. “I would say he is similar to their skill set. Physical, 6-4, runs a 4.3—he can run. He’s definitely a hard matchup. Definitely a challenge for us Sunday.”
Bradberry has been studying the Seahawks and noted that most of his yardage comes on passes 20+ yards the field on the 9 route with Metcalf. Metcalf is currently tied with Tyreek Hill of the Chiefs and Justin Jefferson of the Vikings for the league-lead in pass receptions of 20+ yards (12) and has a 50% catch rate for 48 yards and four touchdowns on those deep balls.
But taking that route away is a bit of a challenge thanks to the type of deep ball Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws, which Bradberry said is challenging to defend.
“When you compare it to a rainbow, the thing about a rainbow is when it comes down and the receiver has the basket, it kind of falls right on top of it,” Bradberry explained.
“It’s hard for a cornerback that’s either on the side of the receiver or behind him to make a play because it drops in over their head. If he had a guy who threw a ball short and it came at a different angle straight down, I’m able to get my hand up and knock it down. If it comes over top, even if you’re tall, it’s hard for you to make a play on that.”
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