Coming into the season, the Green Bay Packers were supposed to have one of the best secondary’s in the NFL. But so far, the pass defense has struggled and with the New York Giants upcoming, it’s about to be tested again.
The Giants come to Lambeau Field Sunday and with them, they will bring in Odell Beckham Jr. The third-year player has 22 receptions for 303 yards so far in 2016 and is undoubtedly one of the best wide outs in the NFL.
However, the Pro Bowler has yet to score a touchdown this season. But with the Packers and their 29th ranked pass defense on tap, OBJ has to be licking his chops.
One thing that’s hurting Green Bay’s pass defense, is the absence of Sam Shields.
Shields is the Packers’ best cover man and has dazzling 4.3 speed. With him out of the lineup, Damarious Randall has had to shoulder the load and the results haven’t been pretty.
Sunday, Randall will spend most of his time shadowing Beckham. But after the way previous No.1 receivers exposed him, that might be a concern.
In the last two games, Green Bay has allowed huge receiving days to both Stephon Diggs of the Vikings and Marvin Jones of the Lions. Diggs caught nine passes for 182 yards, while Jones caught six for 205 yards and two touchdowns. In both games, Randall was the main culprit in coverage.
This week, the second-year man from Arizona State, must be up for the challenge. And from the sounds of it, he will be.
“Our secondary is going to have some bounce-back weeks,” Randall said on Monday after Green Bay’s first post-bye practice. “I know we’ve been struggling, me in particular has been struggling.
“But the great thing about that, I am not struggling because of the receivers, I was struggling because of myself. Just knowing that, I know I’m going to bounce back.”
2016 hasn’t been all bad for Randall. He does have one interception and three passes defensed. He’s still one of the game’s best young cornerbacks and this week against the Giants and Beckham Jr., he has a chance to prove it.
If the Packers are going to win, they are going to need him to.