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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Have at It: Toughest single matchup

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Week 1 here in the NFC North featured a series of fascinating matchup dynamics.

Which Green Bay Packers pass-catcher would draw the most attention from the New Orleans Saints' defense, and who would be more often left in one-on-one coverage? The answers, it appeared, were tight end Jermichael Finley and receiver Greg Jennings, respectively.

Would the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put talented cornerback Aqib Talib on an island against Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson? As it turned out, they did on a number of occasions. Johnson beat Talib for two touchdowns.

How many blockers would the Atlanta Falcons devote to Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers? Not enough, apparently. Peppers finished with two sacks and a forced fumble.

For me, it all added up into a great opening for Have at It. Let's phrase it this way: Who is the toughest one-on-one matchup in the NFC North?

Your first thought probably goes toward wide receivers, but let's expand beyond the passing game. Obviously, I want to know if you think, say, Johnson or Jennings is the toughest matchup. But let's also consider Peppers, who is tough for any tackle to block, along with other defensive linemen such as the Lions' Ndamukong Suh, the Packers' B.J. Raji and the Minnesota Vikings' Kevin Williams.

And let's not forget Finley, whose combination of size and ball skills make him one of the NFL's more unique players.

For blog newcomers, feel free to express your thoughts and join in on the debate in the comments section below. I'll publish a representative sample of your posts, along with my own take, by the end of the week. Have at It.