Jaguars vs. Chargers, Marquee Matchup: Robinson, Hurns vs. Verrett, Flowers

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Week 2's matchup between the Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers will feature a battle of "strength against strength" on Sunday.

The Jaguars starting wide receivers, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, will look to overcome two former first round cornerbacks from San Diego. Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers are small in stature but are big in the play-making department.

Verrett mostly handles the right side, while Flowers mans the left. Both have been to Pro Bowls (though Flowers' visit was when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013) and have done a good job of limiting wide receivers (and sometimes tight ends) to short or no gains.

The Jaguars wide receivers will be a tough task for Verrett (5-10, 188) and Flowers (5-9, 187) due to their size and strength. However, the pair's speed and play-making ability could lead to turnovers and miscues that larger wide receivers couldn't create in coverage.  

“I think [Jason] Verrett is a really good player," Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said on Wednesday.

"He has been since he came into the league three years ago, I guess we’re from the same class, but I think they’re good players. It’s kind of like Brent Grimes and some other undersized corners, it presents a different challenge, you have to throw different balls when they’re smaller guys, but no doubt good players.”

Robinson and Hurns have size to their advantage. Bortles loves throwing "50-50 balls" and size typically wins out in those challenges. However, they were limited to a combined 98 receiving yards and a touchdown in last season's loss to the Chargers.

Hurns and Robinson only had 30 receiving yards and a touchdown in the second half of last year's matchup. The duo only caught 9-of-20 targets against the Chargers, largely due to the coverage efforts of Verrett and Flowers.

The tandem has to improve in the rematch or the Jaguars will have a tough time sticking with Phillip Rivers and the Chargers offense. 

In Week 1, Verrett matched up against Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin several times. Kansas City's No. 1 wide receiver was limited to five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on seven targets.

It was a pretty a even matchup. as Verrett intercepted an pass from Alex Smith intended for Maclin and the wide receiver caught a touchdown pass on the cornerback.

Flowers mostly matched up against Chris Conley, who only produced four catches for 47 yards on seven targets. The Chargers can use Flowers and Verrett in the slot in nickel coverage, so they could also draw Rashad Greene as well. 

Hurns and Robinson were a mixed bag against the the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. They combined for 10 catches for 147 receiving yards on 20 targets. The duo went up against similarly short cornerbacks in Sam Shields and Damarious Randall. 

The goal for the Jaguars should be to force the Chargers cornerbacks to fight for the ball in the air against Robinson and Hurns, who are talented enough to go up and grab the ball in the air. If Robinson and Hurns can use their height to their advantage, the speed of Verrett and Flowers could be neutralized.

However, if Verrett and Flowers are allowed to break on the ball and stay even with Hurns and Robinson in coverage, it could be rough day for the Jaguars on offense.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.


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