Brown and Harris: The Next Big Rivalry In The AFC West

Raiders WR Antonio Brown’s arrival in the AFC West will create some memorable matchups on Sundays but none more interesting than against Denver’s Chris Harris Jr.

Arguably the most significant transaction in the NFL this off-season was the Oakland Raiders acquiring the talents of Brown and dramatically upgrading their WR corps in the process. It won’t be a cakewalk for Brown by any extent and the matchup with Harris will be one of his biggest tests.

Raiders’ Brown and Harris: The Next Big Rivalry In The AFC West

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Pro Football Focus recently shared a Tweet highlighting their meetings with their first coming in 2011, in which Brown was only targeted once versus Harris resulting in one catch for five yards. A minor contest when compared to 2015, in which Brown hauled in 12 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Daniel Rymer of PFF recently shed some light on just how good Harris has been and in a nutshell it’s scary, like shut down corner scary.

Chris Harris has allowed just 0.85 yards per cover snap when lined up outside over the course of his career, ranking second among all qualifying cornerbacks and just one spot behind Richard Sherman (0.81). Over the last five years, Harris’ overall grade of 93.8, which ranks first among all qualifying cornerbacks and is one spot ahead of Casey Hayward(92.9) and three spots ahead of Richard Sherman (91.0).

Not to be outdone however, Brown himself has had quite a campaign the last five years as Rymer points out.

Antonio Brown’s five-year receiving grade of 93.9 ranks second among qualifying wide receivers in that timeframe, trailing only the great Julio Jones (95.0).

The “down” year for Brown last season was a fluke in the eyes of many, only made worse by the issues with Ben Roethlisberger. While the possibility of drama between a star WR and QB is always omnipresent, there’s no indication of nothing but comradery with Derek Carr. This will be key when they face off against the Broncos on Sept. 9.

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