By Tim Graham
The Buffalo Bills and many observers believe it will happen eventually, but this will not be the year cornerback Stephon Gilmore establishes himself as a shutdown defender.
In Thursday's paper, Buffalo News senior columnist Jerry Sullivan takes a look at Gilmore's unspectacular sophomore season.
Gilmore missed the first five games while recovering from a broken wrist and played his first two games with a heavy wrap on his arm. Unable to get physical with receivers, he has been targeted frequently by opposing quarterbacks since he returned.
ProFootballFocus.com tracks every play, and receivers covered by Gilmore have caught 30 of 49 throws for 455 yards and a touchdown for a 98.6 passer rating.
By comparison, Leodis McKelvin has allowed 38 catches on 77 targets for 480 yards and two TDs, a 77.8 opponent passer rating. Nickell Robey has allowed 24 catches on 49 targets for 225 yards and two TDs, a 58.6 opponent passer rating.
Here is a breakdown of Gilmore's performance in each of his seven games:
- Week Six versus Cincinnati Bengals: three targets/three catches for 78 yards.
- Week Seven at Miami Dolphins: four targets/three catches for 72 yards.
- Week Eight at New Orleans Saints: one target/zero catches.
- Week Nine versus Kansas City Chiefs: 12 targets/eight catches for 72 yards (Dwayne Bowe 11 targets/seven catches for 67 yards).
- Week 10 at Pittsburgh Steelers: 11 targets/seven catches for 95 yards and a TD (Antonio Brown six targets/three catches for 58 yards).
- Week 11 versus New York Jets: six targets/two catches for 45 yards.
- Week 13 versus Atlanta Falcons: 12 targets/seven catches for 93 yards (Roddy White five targets/four catches for 48 yards).
Gilmore has no interceptions and three pass breakups. He has made 21 tackles.