This Sunday the Cleveland Browns go down to New Orleans to take on the Saints. While there are many players on both teams who are worthwhile to watch, the matchup between CB Denzel Ward and WR Michael Thomas has the opportunity to be the best one of the game and possibly even the season.
In Week 1 both players had great games. Ward was matched up with Steelers WR Antonio Brown, who had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown but only caught the ball on 56.3% of his targets. Ward had two interceptions, three passes defended and did not make it easy on Brown when he had his opportunities. Ward was able to show the athleticism that made him the 4th overall pick in last April’s draft.
Michael Thomas played against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and torched their defense. He was targeted 17 times, catching it 16 of those times for a catch percentage of 94.1% while accumulating 180 yards and one touchdown.
The third-year receiver has become a favorite target of QB Drew Brees and is definitely worthy of his Twitter handle of @cantguardmike.
This matchup will be exciting to watch for numerous reasons.
To start off, both Ward and Thomas are among the best young players at their position. Additionally, both went to Ohio State, which will be a big thrill for the many Browns fans who also root for the Buckeyes. Finally, this will be a big test for Ward as Thomas is a few inches taller and about 20 pounds larger.
I would be surprised if Ward or Thomas had games against each other like they had in Week 1. While I am obviously rooting for Ward to shut Thomas down en route to a Browns victory, it will be very difficult for him to do so. The best thing to do is sit back and enjoy watching this opportunity to see how these two measure up.