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Can Stephon Gilmore stop Darren Waller when they match up?

Short answer — no. Long answer, well, just read the 2000 words below

New Orleans Saints v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Alright, so everyone knows that there is a Darren Waller problem for opposing defenses of the Las Vegas Raiders to solve. How they figure it out is a different story.

The Carolina Panthers tried to stop him with a multitude of players but he still went off for six catches for 45 yards and three first down receptions. The New Orleans Saints tried everyone they possibly could, and couldn’t figure him out with linebackers, safeties, cornerbacks and even a defensive end or two. Waller now has 148 yards on 18 catches with 11 first downs and a touchdown this season.

The growing thought was that New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore would be the guy that could possibly help the Pats figure out Waller in their Week 3 matchup but I was curious as to whether or not Gilmore had faced off against talented tight ends, and just how he fared. Everyone knows that Gilmore is a great cornerback, one of the best in the NFL, but he typically stays outside at this stage of his career and matches up against outside wide receivers.

So I hit the databooks.

And here’s what I found.

His career numbers versus tight ends in coverage:

Targets: 33
Receptions: 21
Yards: 258
First Downs: 10
Touchdowns: 0
Interceptions: 1
Pass Breakups: 3

Those seem nice, but who has he faced? Let’s go down the data rabbit hole.

So far this season, Gilmore hasn’t matched up against a tight end.

Week 1 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 2 vs Seattle — no targets on tight ends

In 2019:

Week 1 vs Pittsburgh — no targets on tight ends

Week 2 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 3 vs New York Jetsno targets on tight ends (did see Le’Veon Bell on one target, one reception, eight yards, a first down)

Week 4 vs Buffalo — 1 target vs Dawson Knox, 1 reception, 18 yards (no first down)

Week 5 vs Washington — no targets on tight ends

Week 6 vs New York Giants — 2 targets vs Rhett Ellison, 1 reception, 18 yards, 1 first down, 1 INT

Week 7 vs New York Jetsno targets on tight ends

Week 8 vs Cleveland — no targets on tight ends

Week 9 vs Baltimore — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs Philadelphia — 2 targets vs Zach Ertz, 0 receptions (also a target on Miles Sanders, 1 receptions, five yards)

Week 12 vs Dallas — 1 target vs Jason Witten, 1 reception, 5 yards (no first down)

Week 13 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends

Week 14 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Cincinnati — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs Buffalo — no targets on tight ends

Week 17 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Wild Card vs Tennessee — no targets on tight ends

In 2018:

Week 1 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends

Week 2 vs Jacksonville — no targets on tight ends

Week 3 vs Detroit — no targets on tight ends

Week 4 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 5 vs Indianapolis — 1 target vs Eric Ebron, 0 receptions, 1 pass breakup

Week 6 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 7 vs Chicago — no targets on tight ends

Week 8 vs Buffalo — no targets on tight ends

Week 9 vs Green Bay — no targets on tight ends

Week 10 vs Tennessee — no targets on tight ends

Week 12 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs Minnesota — no targets on tight ends

Week 14 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Pittsburgh — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs Buffalo — no targets on tight ends

Week 17 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Divisional vs Los Angeles Chargersno targets on tight ends

Conference Championship vs Kansas City — 1 target vs Travis Kelce, 0 receptions

Super Bowl vs Los Angeles Ramsno targets on tight ends

In 2017:

Week 1 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends (did see a target on Kareem Hunt, 1 receptions, 4 yards)

Week 2 vs New Orleans — no targets on tight ends

Week 3 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends

Week 4 vs Carolina — no targets on tight ends

Week 5 vs Tampa Bay — 1 target vs Cameron Brate, 1 reception, 8 yards (no first down)

Week 10 vs Denver — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs (Oakland) — no targets on tight ends

Week 12 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs Buffalo — no targets on tight ends

Week 14 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Pittsburgh — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs Buffalo — no targets on tight ends

Week 17 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target on Elijah McGuire, 1 reception, 4 yards, no first down)

Divisional vs Tennessee — 1 target vs Delanie Walker, 1 reception, 36 yards, 1 first down

Conference Championship vs Jacksonville — no targets on tight ends

Super Bowl vs Philadelphia — 1 target vs Zach Ertz, 1 reception, 7 yards, 1 first down

OKAY — so I went even further back to his time with the Buffalo Bills:

2016:

Week 1 vs Baltimore — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs Kyle Juszczyk, 1 reception, 9 yards, 0 first down)

Week 2 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 3 vs Arizona — 1 target vs Jermaine Gresham, 0 receptions, 1 pass breakup

Week 4 vs New England — 1 target vs Martellus Bennett, 1 reception, 6 yards, 0 first down

Week 5 vs Los Angeles Ramsno targets on tight ends

Week 6 vs San Francisco — no targets on tight ends

Week 7 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 8 vs New England — 2 targets vs Rob Gronkowski, 1 reception, 33 yards, 1 first down

Week 9 vs Seattle — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs Cincinnati — 1 target vs Tyler Eifert, 1 reception, 21 yards, 1 first down

Week 12 vs Jacksonville — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs (Oakland) — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target on Taiwan Jones, 1 reception, 11 yards, 1 first down)

Week 14 vs Pittsburgh — 1 target vs Ladarius Green, 0 receptions

Week 15 vs Cleveland — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends (did see one target against Damien Williams, 1 reception, 44 yards, 1 first down)

2015:

Week 1 vs Indianapolis — no targets on tight ends

Week 2 vs New England — 1 target vs Scott Chandler, 1 reception, 9 yards, 0 first down (did see 3 targets vs running backs — 2 vs Dion Lewis, 1 vs Travaris Cadet — 2 receptions, 8 yards, 0 first down)

Week 3 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs Damien Williams, 0 receptions)

Week 4 vs New York Giantsno targets on tight ends

Week 5 vs Tennessee — no targets on tight ends

Week 6 vs Cincinnati — 1 target vs Tyler Eifert, 1 reception, 5 yards, 1 first down

Week 7 vs Jacksonville — no targets on tight ends

Week 9 vs Miami — 1 target vs Dion Sims, 0 receptions, 1 pass breakup

Week 10 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs New England — 2 targets vs Rob Gronkowski, 1 reception, 10 yards, 1 first down (Gronk had 1 drop as well)

Week 12 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends (did see 2 targets vs running backs — 1 vs Chris Polk, 1 vs Akeem Hunt — 2 receptions, 11 yards, 1 first down)

2014:

Week 2 vs Miami — 1 target vs Dion Sims, 0 receptions

Week 3 vs San Diego Chargers — 1 target vs Ladarius Green, 1 reception, 26 yards, 1 first down (did see 2 more targets against Donald Brown, 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 first down)

Week 4 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends

Week 5 vs Detroit — 1 target vs Eric Ebron, 1 reception, 3 yards; 1 target vs Brandon Pettigrew, 1 reception, 7 yards, 0 first downs

Week 6 vs New England — no targets on tight ends

Week 7 vs Minnesota — no targets on tight ends

Week 8 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 10 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 12 vs New York Jets — 2 targets vs Jeff Cumberland, 1 reception, 5 yards, 0 first downs (Cumberland had 1 drop)

Week 13 vs Cleveland — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs FB Ray Agnew, 1 reception, 0 yards)

Week 14 vs Denver — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Green Bay — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs (Oakland) — no targets on tight ends

2013:

Week 6 vs Cincinnati — 1 target vs Tyler Eifert, 1 reception, 10 yards, 0 first down

Week 7 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 8 vs New Orleans — no targets on tight ends

Week 9 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 10 vs Pittsburgh — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs Atlanta — 1 target vs Levine Toilolo, 1 reception, 12 yards, 1 first down

Week 14 vs Tampa Bay — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Jacksonville — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs Jordan Todman, 0 receptions, 1 INT)

Week 16 vs Miami — 1 target vs Charles Clay, 1 reception, 3 yards, 0 first downs

Week 17 vs New England — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs Shane Vereen, 0 receptions, 1 pass breakup)

2012:

Week 1 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Week 2 vs Kansas City — no targets on tight ends

Week 3 vs Cleveland — no targets on tight ends

Week 4 vs New England — 1 target vs Rob Gronkowski, 1 reception, 7 yards, 0 first down (did see 1 target vs Brandon Bolden, 1 reception, 11 yards, 1 first down)

Week 5 vs San Francisco — no targets on tight ends

Week 6 vs Arizona — no targets on tight ends

Week 7 vs Tennessee — no targets on tight ends (did see 1 target vs Darius Reynaud, 1 reception, 9 yards, 1 first down)

Week 9 vs Houston — no targets on tight ends

Week 10 vs New England — no targets on tight ends

Week 11 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 12 vs Indianapolis — no targets on tight ends

Week 13 vs Jacksonville — 1 target vs Marcedes Lewis, 1 reception, 9 yards, 0 first down

Week 14 vs St. Louis Rams — no targets on tight ends

Week 15 vs Seattle — no targets on tight ends

Week 16 vs Miami — no targets on tight ends

Week 17 vs New York Jets — no targets on tight ends

Here we are — approaching game time and whether or not Waller is even a full-go today — and I gotta say it, based on his career numbers against tight ends, Stephon Gilmore has about as good a chance as anyone to stop Waller, but I don’t think he will.

But then again, who actually could?