Darius Slay is likely to line up on Allen Robinson on Thursday. How will the Chicago Bears attack that matchup?
When the Detroit Lions met the Chicago Bears a few weeks ago., it was the return of Allen Robinson. While it was supposed to be met with a tough matchup in his return, Darius Slay was ruled out, and he wound up breaking out with Mitch Trubisky.
However, Slay returned against the Carolina Panthers last week and had a solid day, showing that he should be ready to take on Allen Robinson in the rematch. While the Bears move Robinson around a lot, so do the Lions with Slay. Slay is not afraid to go into the slot, so expect the matchup to last throughout the day.
When looking at Allen Robinson’s route chart, his three most targeted spots are curls, go routes and slants.
His most targeted route happens to be the least targeted of Slay. Robinson is 12-15 on curl routes, while Slay is just 1-2. This is typical because Slay has been successful at avoiding targets on these routes. With this being where Robinson has been able to demand targets, who wins on the curl routes will be an underlining key to the game.
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On go routes, Allen Robinson is 4-10 with a touchdown and a pick. He got free deep against these very Lions recently. However, this has been a calling card for Slay, who is 1-6 on deep targets. He has an interception but has not allowed a touchdown. With Mitch, Trubisky dinged up and the idea of Chase Daniel potentially playing, do not expect this to be a go-to route.
The most significant area that favors Robinson is slant routes. Robinson is 6-6 with a touchdown on slant routes. He is averaging 17.3 yards per target and a 158 passer rating. This is money. Slay is 5-7 on slant routes. He is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt allowed but a 137 passer rating. Whoever the quarterback is has to take what is given with Robinson against Slay on slant routes.
Another interesting factor will be the out route. Slay has allowed three touchdowns. One on the slant, one on a corner route, but his other came on an out route. Against the out, he is 7-8 letting up 9.6 yards per target and a 146 passer rating. That has been his most vulnerable spot.
Robinson has only been targeted on that route twice this season, hauling in both attempts. He is averaging seven yards per attempt.
Robinson is a nuanced route runner. To fake between the outs and the slants should give him enough wiggle room to break free. These quick in and outward breaking routes are much smarter than screens, curls, and the deep passing options when it comes to Darius Slay.