Michael Ojemudia Impersonates Peanut Tillman to Thwart Patriots' Game Plan
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
Cam Newton's week 6 pass chart tells an unmistakable story about New England's offensive approach to the game:
Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels clearly looked at the Broncos defense and decided that it was most vulnerable on the left side, where rookie CB Michael Ojemudia lines up.
But despite diligently executing the "throw left" plan, Newton came away with a mere 157 yards on 17 completions. Ojemudia and the Broncos played sticky coverage and tackled well in the secondary, leaving Patriots receivers with little room to run after the catch.
Ojemudia was instrumental in limiting the Patriots' success, earning an 89.8 coverage grade from PFF (anything over 80.0 is great; pushing 90.0 is exceptional). He did allow several chunk gains; looking through the play-by-play indicates that these were receptions of 12, 16, 7, and 16 yards. But nevertheless, it was a very encouraging performance. And, perhaps most importantly, Ojemudia managed to prevent a big play when Newton tested him deep (bottom of the screen).
Solid coverage aside, Ojemudia's most exciting moments happened to come after allowing receptions. He forced two fumbles on the day, both of which were remarkable plays. The first came on a short completion to WR Damiere Byrd, when Ojemudia punched straight through the ball as he collided with the WR.
The next came against tight end Ryan Izzo in the third quarter. Ojemudia again lined up a tackle and made contact with the ball while wrapping up the receiver.
The rookie looked like a young Charles Tillman out there, showing off fantastic takes on the classic Peanut Punch.
If Ojemudia stacks performances like this one he won't play in many more games that produce such lopsided pass charts. Unless, that is, opposing QBs start avoiding his side of the field.