It’s been a while since a tight end has done much damage to the Packers’ pass defense. But they have not faced one quite as good as Jordan Reed lately.
In the latter stages of the season, the Green Bay defense faced the likes of Minnesota's Kyle Rudolph, Arizona's Jermaine Gresham, Oakland's Mychal Rivera, Dallas' Jason Witten, Detroit's Eric Ebron and Chicago's Zach Miller. The most they have given up to a tight end in any one game is 40 yards receiving and they have given up a total of two touchdowns.
"I don't really know the stats, but I feel like other than the few plays here and there, we've done a pretty good job," said slot corner Hyde, who often draws tight ends in coverage, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We take pride in going against these guys.”
That’s a pretty solid list of tight ends with some Pro Bowl appearances sprinkled among them. But none of them approached Reed’s 2014 production of 87 receptions, 952 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Rudolph, Gresham, Rivera, Witten, Ebron, and Miller averaged 43 receptions for 450 yards and three touchdowns.
Reed more resembles the tight ends that the Packers faced earlier in the year. The Bears’ Martellus Bennett had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against Green Bay. The Chiefs’ Travis Kelce had six catches for 80 yards and Antonio Gates of the Chargers had nine for 95. Carolina tight end Greg Olsen had 4-66-1 and in their first meeting and in their fist meeting of the year Rudolph went off for 6-106-1.
"He's a talented athlete," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "He looks like a receiver who's playing the tight end position. So he's definitely a guy to keep an eye on in the pass game. There's going to be some matchups where myself and linebackers will be matched up against him."
Linebackers have had little success trying to cover Reed this year so those are matchups that quarterback Kirk Cousins will be looking for.
"He's fast like a receiver, good hands like a receiver," Hyde said. "He's also a good blocker. It's going to be a huge challenge for us."
The Redskins hope that Reed is more of a challenge than the Packers can handle.