When the Green Bay Packers entered the 2017 NFL Draft, one of the biggest needs for the team was shoring up their defensive backfield. The Packers specifically needed to really improve at the cornerback position. That improvement came with the Packers drafting Washington cornerback Kevin King in the second round of the draft. The question then surrounded when King would eventually move into the starting lineup. With his performance against the Atlanta Falcons, that time might this week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kevin King vs. Matt Ryan

The Green Bay Packers lost to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons for the second time in a row, the first being in the NFC Championship game last season by a score of 44-21.

This year’s loss was closer, at 34-23, but it still has to make the Packers start to think about what they need to do to overcome their NFC rivals this year if they want to return to the Super Bowl. If the performance of Kevin King is any indication, that would include starting him from here out.

Matt Ryan threw for 252 yards and one touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Julio Jones was on fire, catching five balls for 108 yards in the game. However, here is an interesting stat for Packers fans to chew on. Ryan completed 19 of 28 passes in the game. Of those nine incompletions, four were when throwing the ball to someone that King was defending. No Falcons receiver caught a pass when Kevin King was covering them in the game.

To really show how talented and special King is, Matt Ryan threw balls to Julio Jones when Kevin was covering him. King broke up one of those passes, one of two that he broke up in the game. In the NFC Championship game, Jones caught nine balls for 180 yards and two touchdowns. King was at least partially responsible for slowing down that pass attack for the Packers in this game.

Kevin King and the Cincinnati Bengals

If Kevin King was so strong in keeping receivers from catching passes when Matt Ryan was throwing the ball, there is no reason to think that he can’t do the same for the Green Bay Packers against the Cincinnati Bengals and Andy Dalton. Yes, Dalton is a great quarterback and A.J. Green is close to Julio Jones when it comes to pure talent as a wide receiver, but they are not Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.

The Packers drafted King to be a playmaker for them and he is proving he deserves that chance. After the Packers loss on Sunday night, head coach Mike McCarthy said that King has “earned the right to potentially play more.” He is not saying that Kevin King should start but there is no reason to hold him back, especially against a team with the question marks of the Bengals, who just fired their offensive coordinator.