Ike Taylor Likely To See A Lot Of Denarius Moore

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has already covered some of the best wide receivers in the league so far this season and on Sunday he will likely cover the best on the Oakland Raiders, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

“He’s probably going to exclusively see Ike Taylor,” said Tomlin when asked who would be covering Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore on Sunday. “That’s one of the challenges Ike relishes.”

If you are to believe Pro Football Focus, Taylor is almost the 90th ranked cornerback in the league. So far this season, against the likes of Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green and Torrey Smith, Taylor has allowed 26 catches on 39 targets for 314 yards and no touchdowns. The 76 yards after the catch that Taylor has allowed shows that he has been tackling the catch well in addition. If that is what a 90th ranked cornerback plays like against top competition, sign me up for more of them.

Taylor has never been and never will be considered a shutdown cornerback, but he consistently limits opposing receivers from having huge games and also helps out against the run. Last week, Smith beat him for a huge explosive play, but Taylor did have solid coverage and it took a money throw from Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to beat him.

Sunday against the Raiders, Taylor will see a lot of Moore, who is only averaging just over four catches a game for just over 66 yards. 151 of Moore’s 399 receiving yards have come after the catch this year and he is responsible for five of the 12 explosive passing plays the Raiders offense has so far this season.

Regardless of how many catches Moore has Sunday, as long as Taylor can keep him out of the end zone and limit him to just one explosive play, it will be another great day for the veteran cornerback.

  • Matt Manzo

    How do they have Gay at 15th and Ike at 90?

  • Bob

    From what I’ve seen, Ike has had solid to excellent coverage when he’s been beat down-field. Just can’t stop and excellent throw and catch. Since the system has him play off, he’s going to give up the reception underneath. Given the way Ike is playing and the fact that NOBODY works harder in the off season on his conditioning, I think Ike is likely to have another 3 or 4 years of good work at the corner spot. I would like to see a reasonable 3 year extension done after the season. If it can bee done for something on the order of 4 to 5 mil/year.

  • Bob

    To be fair, Gay has played pretty damn well so far.

  • Jonas

    But therefore…
    we hopefully won’t see a lot of Denarius Moore!


    Ike will turn 34 on May 5th next year, even before the season starts. I truly hope he can play another 3 or 4 years, simply as a reward for his effort at staying in shape. But quickness is lost quickly….. without much warning. We simply don’t know when Ike’s will deteriorate. I think because of his relationship with the Rooneys, he can be signed reasonably on a year to year basis.

  • Bob

    I know his age and agree with your point that deterioration can be rapid, but I think at worst you’d be able to roll him to free safety for a final year. Although if they can get him cheaper just year to year that would, of course, be better. Still, I think he can be, at the very least, serviceable until 37 or 38. As a side benefit we could get his next years cap hit down easier on a 3 or 4 year extension.

  • Eric Crook

    I have never been a fan of Will Gay, but I do have to give him credit, he has been shutting things down on his side….taylor as well, that Torrey Smith catch you really can’t ask for better coverage…if Cortez could pick his play up a bit, they’d be set

  • Madi

    He has played well, and compared to how he’s been in the past, he’s played exceptionally well. But better than Ike? It’s not like Gay’s been perfect either, and he’s got an easier assignment every single play. He’s basically keeping Cortez’s spot warm for him.
    Ike’s stats average out to 4.3 catches allowed per game, for 52 yards, and NO touchdowns, always against the best receiver. I’d like to see Gay’s stats, but even without seeing them I’m comfortable saying he would not fare as well if he was facing Marshall, Green, Smith, etc. And as people have mentioned, luck factors into this as well. Gay was torched by (Jacoby Jones?) but Flacco underthrew them both and let Gay back into the play. Ike was draped all over Smith but Flacco put it in the perfect spot and Smith made a nice catch. That right there is a huge swing for both of their stats against Taylor, despite Ike outplaying Gay on both plays. To me this is another example of PFF falling down. I don’t know how you can put Ike behind Gay, let alone THAT far behind.