Matchup No. 2: Martin Emerson vs George Pickens
This will be must watch television. All preseason long the noise coming from Pittsburgh was the emergence of George Pickens as an elite playmaker. This week Martin Emerson will be looking to derail the Pickens hype train.
Emerson is coming off an outstanding performance in the season opener. The physical cornerback was the main contributor in holding Tee Higgins to zero catches on eight attempts. Emerson was in complete lockdown mode against Cincinnati, often running the route before the receiver could execute it.
Monday night Emerson will get his opportunity to lockdown Pickens in front of the viewing nation. To this point in his career, Pickens’ calling card has been his ability to come down with high degree of difficulty catches down the boundary.
The first time these two matched up in Week 3 of last season, Pickens managed to haul in a poorly thrown ball by Mitch Trubisky and gained national notoriety for the ridiculous catch.
However, the most intriguing aspect of this matchup may not even come in the passing game. Both players are ultra-physical and will look to impose that physicality on each other, especially in the run game. It's a near guarantee that this matchup will get chippy, and this writer would be willing to place a wager that at least one 15-yard penalty goes in this matchup’s direction.
Both Emerson and Pickens embrace the physical nature of the game, and both are second-year players looking to make a name for themselves in the league. Monday Night Football sounds like the perfect stage for Martin Emerson vs George Pickens.