Watching the Packers-Vikings game last night led me to ponder the question of: who are the top cornerbacks in the league right now? Which guys are playing the best football at the position at this point in the season?
Let’s take a look at my top five at the quarter mark of the ‘09 season…
1. Darrelle Revis, Jets
Revis is the main reason Rex Ryan can run his scheme with a pressure aspect—because Revis can take away the best player on the outside. In Week 1, it was Andre Johnson of Houston (4-35), in Week 2 it was Randy Moss (4-27) and last week against the Saints it was Marques Colston (2-33). If you are going to bring pressure, you have to be able to cover in the backend, and right now Revis is playing that role for the Jets.
2. Champ Bailey, Broncos
Mike Nolan’s defense in Denver is only giving up 6.5 points a game, and a lot of that can be attributed to their secondary play. Bailey, who is finally healthy again, was huge on Sunday against the Cowboys, racking up the stat sheet with eight tackles, four passes broken up and a pick against Tony Romo—who I am still questioning after trying to beat Bailey in the game’s most crucial situation. One thing about Champ: when he is on, it looks as if he is almost dancing with the wide receiver—mimicking his every move.
3. Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders
For a team that is on the verge of borderline chaos, Asomugha is still one of the top corner’s in the league. It has always been hard to judge Asomugha from the box scores because he doesn't get much action. But, for as bad as this offense is in Oakland, Asomugha can still lock down any receiver is the entire league when asked.
4. Charles Woodson, Packers
Woodson has always been a playmaker in the secondary, but what has impressed me more about his game—at this stage of his career—is his ability to align outside and in the slot, which most corners just can’t do. Plus, he is the best blitzing corner in the league. He gets better every time I watch him and has become indispensable to the Pack.
5. Antoine Winfield, Vikings
It is hard to put Winfield in a category because he plays in a Tampa 2 system in Minnesota, but you can’t deny the fact that he has a complete game, as we saw last night with his ability to play off-man coverage and tackle in the Cover 2 scheme. People questioned the idea of a new contract at his age, but he is able to set the edge vs. the running game. And last night, Greg Jennings of the Packers was at the bottom of the list, catching only three passes for 33 yards.
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