Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
In order for the Eagles to ground the Lions’ aerial attack, Philadelphia’s secondary needs to play better coverage—particularly, Nnamdi Asomugha.
However, that’s going to be extremely difficult for Asomugha this week if he’s lined up across Calvin Johnson.
The Eagles brought him in to be the shutdown man-to-man corner who allowed the pass-rushers of the Wide-9 to get to the quarterback. Instead, as a 31-year-old, it seems as if he’s lost a step and can no longer dominate at the line of scrimmage like we’re accustomed to seeing.
It goes without saying that Asomugha will be physically challenged against the quicker, stronger 6’5”, 236-pound Johnson on Sunday. Yet, he’s still one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, and the best option the Eagles have at their disposal.
Juan Castillo will always have an extra defender shading towards Johnson’s side of the field when he’s on the outsides, but whenever he lines up in the slot, that coverage assignment should primarily fall to Asomugha.