So I have been actively debating with some people in ChemErik's thread talking about Winfield's most recent comments. When I first read the article, and Winfield's comments I honestly found them kind of ridiculous. I look at Winfield, and the first thing that comes to mind is that he is probably the best run stopping CB in the league. When I look at him in coverage I honestly don't know what to think. Teams rarely throw to his side of the field but that could be for 2 reasons. Either he is just a great coverage CB, or teams have recognized that the last 3-4 years the Vikings #2 CB's have been pretty weak (McCauley and Griffin). I personally feel teams avoid Winfield more for the second reason I said then the first, though I do feel teams do avoid him for the first as well. As far as Griffin goes, my feelings on him are kind of mixed. He is a pretty darn good run stopper, but has been known to be pretty weak in coverage. But towards the end of the year last there was noticeable improvement in his game. With those things in mind and after reading some Vikings fans opinions on the tandem I no longer find Winfield's comments ridiculous, though I still don't think there amongst the elite tandem's in the league.
I have decided that I'm going to do my best to rank the top 10 best CB tandems in the league. I think this will be fairly difficult to do, so please bare with me... So here we go!
1. Asante Samuel-Sheldon Brown : I think their the obvious #1 pick. Samuel is excellent in coverage, and Brown is good against the run and pass. I think they kind of compliment each other in their strength's and weaknesses.
3. Charles Woodson- Al Harris/Tramon Williams : Woodson was amongst the top CBs in the league last year with 7 INTs, 2 TDs, and a modest 62 tackles. I list Harris and Williams because they both served time as the #2 CBs. With Harris you don't get an explosive ballhawk but rather a very smart veteran CB who is a shut down guy. Williams on the other hand is more explosive and had a respectable 5 INTs in his second year in the league.
4. Cortland Finnegan-Nick Harper : Finnegan is probably the least known elite CB in the league. Last season he had 5 INTs, 70 tackles, and 1 TD. Harper in my opinion is an underrated CB. In just 13 games last year he managed to put up 71 tackles last year, and also had 3 INTs. Finnegan is a do-it-all CB but is best in coverage, and Harper is very good against the run.Ronde Barber-Philip Buchanon : I think Barber is a very underrated CB. He had 7 INTs and 75 tackles. He was arguably the most balanced CB in the league last year. Buchanon didn't put up great numbers ( 2 INTs and 61 tackles) but he helped Barber lead the Bucs to the 4th best pass defense in the league.
5. Ronde Barber-Philip Buchanon : I think Barber is a very underrated CB. He had 7 INTs and 75 tackles. He was arguably the most balanced CB in the league last year. Buchanon didn't put up great numbers ( 2 INTs and 61 tackles) but he helped Barber lead the Bucs to the 4th best pass defense in the league.
6. Chris Gamble-Richard Marshall : For me this tandem was probably the one who surprised me most, and it was mainly Gamble who I was surprised by. He had 93 tackles and 3 INTs last season. Gamble, statistically is the 2nd best run stopping CB in the league, and is good against the pass as well. Marshall was also good against the run with 75 tackles, but only had 1 INT.
7.Aaron Ross-Corey Webster : Ross has become one of the better CBs in the league and had 3 INTs, 62 tackles, and 1 TD. Webster is kind of similar to Griffin in that he has been targeted by teams in the past but he proved this past season that he is no joke. He had 50 tackles and 3 INTs.
8. Antoine Winfield- Cedric Griffin : Winfield is probably the best run stopping CB in the league, and is good against the pass. He led the league in tackles for CBs with an impressive 95 tackles. He only had 2 INTs but that is good considering teams rarely throw to his side of the field. Griffin is also great against the run, and had 91 tackles. He has been questionable in coverage, and has been the target of opposing teams, but he did improve last year.
9. Ike Taylor-Deshea Townsend- Neither put up eye popping numbers but teams rarely threw to Taylor's side of the field, and Townsend had 3 INTs. I mainly listed them because they played a big part in their pass defense ranking 1st in the league.
10. Nnamdi Asomugha-Chris Johnson : Though Asomugha didn't put up great numbers he is probably the best CB in the league. Teams rarely threw to his side of the field, and he is the definition of a shut down CB. Johnson had 4 INTs and 34 tackles last year. Neither had great numbers but the Raiders managed to have the 10 best pass defenses in the league.
Like I had anticipated this was very, very diffcult to do. I hope this doesn't disgruntle you Vikings fans too much. Just keep in mind my opinion is a little biased as I am a die hard Packer fan!!!!