Packers vs. Falcons: It’s go-time for cornerback Davon House

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 22: Davon House
GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 22: Davon House /
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 26: A pass is broken up by Davon House
NEW ORLEANS, LA – OCTOBER 26: A pass is broken up by Davon House /

Packers prodigal son has returned to add much-needed leadership and stability to a young secondary that will have its hands full versus arguably the most lethal passing attack in the NFL this week in squaring off against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the boys down  in “The Peach State.”

After a brief and rather topsy-turvy two-year sojourn with the Jaguars, Davon House needed to sign with a team that knew how to best utilize his strengths as a physical, in-your-face cover man capable of matching up against some of the bigger and stronger receivers the league has to offer.

So far, the 28-year-old Packers veteran is off to a rather slow start due to an ankle injury that forced him to miss time during the preseason followed by a subpar performance in the season opener versus the Seahawks.

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House, in fact, earned an abysmal 51.2 grade from Pro Football Focus (PFF) that ranked him fifty-first overall among cornerbacks. Even worse was his 34.5 run-support grade that placed him among the five worst in that area among his peers.

A couple of glaring mistakes that stood out in last week’s contest were House’s failure to set the edge on a Chris Carson perimeter run that went for 30 yards and a holding call while covering the rookie running back.

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Tonight, the pride of Van Nuys, Calif., will be up against a more complete and prolific offense that features more weapons and a better offensive line that should afford Ryan extra time to survey his options.

The widely held belief is that Packers defensive back Damarious Randall will be primarily responsible in the coverage of Jones, which means that No. 31 will be entrusted with preventing the likes of Mohamed Sanu and/or Taylor Gabriel from doing damage.

Both receivers were instrumental in both wins over the Packers last year. Sanu, in particular, was a constant threat for which the secondary had no answers.

In the regular-season matchup, the sturdy 6-foot-2 wideout was the focal point of the offense by catching a season-best nine receptions for 84 yards, including a game-winning 11-yard score.

It would stand to reason that at 6 feet with 33.5” arms, House is the Packers’ backfield defender who is best suited to shadow Sanu.

In addition to being versatile enough to play inside or outside the numbers, the second-year Falcon specializes in working the middle of the field where he can shield his man with his large frame.

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 14: Cornerback Davon House
GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 14: Cornerback Davon House /

This is the type of matchup for which House was brought back.

The seventh-year veteran let it be known during training camp that he’s back where he started because he’ll be allowed to play his brand of ball again.

House craves a good, physical battle that will allow him to be around the ball and not 10 yards behind his opponent in off-coverage.

While no one expects the former fourth-round pick to shut down Sanu or whomever comes his way, it will be vital for the lanky enforcer to make some plays that can result in a turnover or key stop that could end up being the difference in the game.

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All eyes will be on House, as he’ll play a prominent role in the outcome of this Sunday night clash of the titans.