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':
- Vincent Jackson - 11.5 yards per attempt (YPA) against red.yellow CBs
- Victor Cruz - 10.9 YPA
- Steve Smith - 10.4 YPA
- Mike Wallace - 10.2 YPA
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!).