Matchup No. 2: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah vs Swift & Hockenson
The Lions offense does not offer a ton of explosive elements in the passing game. However, they do have two young pass catchers to build around, but they don’t line up where you would think. Tight end, T.J. Hockenson, and running back D’Andre Swift are excellent targets who excel after the catch. In fact, Swift (420) and Hockenson (448) both have more receiving yards than any player on the Browns.
As a whole, the Lions do the majority of their damage after the catch. A staggering 61% of their receiving yards come after the catch. That is the highest percentage of team yards after the catch in the NFL. At this point it is looking like Jared Goff will be unable to play, and backup Tim Boyle will get the nod. If that proves to be the case the Lions may alter their approach, but with their lack of outside weaponry, Swift and Hockenson will still be the primary weapons through the air.
The Browns rebuttal to the Lions passing game is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The rookie was kept on a pitch count last week, whether he was told that information or not is another issue and should be full go this week. JOK’s skillset matches up perfectly with the Lions passing game approach.
Owusu-Koramoah’s closing speed to shallow passes in the flat will be the element this defense has missed during the past four games. Expect JOK to lead the team in tackles and perhaps even in pass breakups.