Marshon Lattimore confident in “challenge” of Tyreek Hill matchup
Sunday’s Chiefs-Saints matchup features a heavyweight battle in the secondary.
Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill is among the best targets in all of football, and he has Patrick Mahomes throwing him the pigskin. It’s almost not fair.
Yet, if there’s one defensive back who could shut him down, it’s New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The former Ohio State Buckeye is among the best cover corners in the NFL, and could very well find himself matched up one-on-one with Hill on Sunday.
Lattimore is ready for that challenge.
“What you think, man? You think I can match up with him? I think I can. He’s fast, yeah. But it’s football at the end of the day. I feel like Im a great corner and he’s a great receiver. It’s a matchup,” Lattimore said in his media availability, per Saints reporter Mike Triplett.
Has Lattimore seen anyone like Tyreek Hill prior to Sunday?
In short, no. Hill isn’t just a speedster, despite what his @cheetah Twitter handle might suggest. Hill is one of the more underrated route-runners in the NFL, and his speed allows him to get open in intermediate routes thanks to the large cushion and respect cornerbacks must give him every play.
Guarding Hill successfully takes extraordinary discipline and recovery speed. If you bite on a fake, he’s gone. If you balk on an in-route and back off, Mahomes has an easy 15-yard completion on a consistent basis. Pick your poison.
The only option for Lattimore is to be physical with Hill and hope he can get away with some contact within five yards of the line of scrimmage. If he can interrupt Hill’s route, and the Saints defensive line gets some pressure on Mahomes, he’ll be forced to look elsewhere. Even that’s a problem thanks to his bevy of targets, but it’s a start.
The Chiefs are lacking on the offensive line — especially due to the injury to Eric Fisher — so being able to lock down Hill with one man would be extremely beneficial in the Saints pursuit to stop the most electric offense in the NFL.