How much better is Antoine Winfield than all of the NFC North's other cornerbacks? THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS much better! (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Then again, anyone that saw him play in 2010 or has read this site at all during this off-season already knows that.
Yes, over at Pro Football Focus, they make the case that Minnesota's own Antoine Winfield is the best and most complete corner in the National Football League. The case is a very convincing one, to be certain.
According to PFF's numbers, Winfield was one of only two corners in the National Football League in 2010 to play more than 1,000 snaps without being penalized once. (By the way, one of the NFC North's supposedly "elite" corners led the NFL in penalties for cornerbacks. I won't ruin it for you by telling you who it is. . .you'll have to read the story.) The longest reception he allowed in 2010 was only 27 yards, and he didn't allow a touchdown reception all season. The 7.8 yards per reception he allowed was bettered only by Asante Samuel of the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, as the PFF article points out, Samuel was pulled from games in 2010 because of his inability to make simple tackles against the run. . .which, as anybody that's watched Winfield knows, isn't a problem for him.
Even more impressive is the fact that it appears that Winfield is getting better despite being at an age when most cornerbacks see their performance drop off. He turned 34 last month, and by this time most corners are looking at a move to safety or not getting onto the field at all.
The first sentence of PFF's story asks the question that we all pretty much know the answer to.
How often do you hear Antoine Winfield’s name mentioned in the discussion of top cornerbacks in the league?
Outside of this website, you don't hear it very often at all. Why? Well, outside of the team he suits up for and the uniform he wears on Sundays, there really doesn't appear to be a good reason. At least, I certainly can't seem to find one.