Panthers Smith #3 Overall Match-Up Buster WR

KC Joyner with ESPN has put up a piece where he evaluates and ranks the NFL's top match-up buster wide receivers. A match-up buster is a WR who still performs well against the top CB's in the league, CB's he calls either 'red' or 'yellow' match-ups for the WR. A red CB is one who allows less than 7 yards per attempt in their direction, a yellow is 7-9 yds per attempt. So we are not talking just catches here bad passes by the QB would count in the denominator. Also, a WR must have at least 35 attempts in their direction to be included in the rating.

So are you wondering if Steve Smith made the list? Duh... well of course he did! Smitty pretty much toasts everybody. Here's Joyner's top 4 who stand in a group by themselves as 'true match-up busters':

  1. Vincent Jackson - 11.5 yards per attempt (YPA) against red.yellow CBs
  2. Victor Cruz - 10.9 YPA
  3. Steve Smith - 10.4 YPA
  4. Mike Wallace - 10.2 YPA
Of that list who has been doing this the longest? Smith is at least 5 years older than all those guys without even looking it up. Plus when you add in his size (or lack there of) and the fact Newton isn't exactly an accurate QB at this point you can see that how much Smitty goes and gets the ball when its not on the money or he has tight coverage. It kind of explains how Jake Delhomme got conditioned to just chuck it up to Smith and let him go get it. Here's what Joyner had to say about Smith:

Cam Newton gets a ton of credit for the Panthers' 2011 turnaround, but let's not forget just how much credit Smith deserves in helping Newton.

Those of us here at CSR never lost sight of the fact Smitty can make QB's look like Pro Bowlers (well most of them!).

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