Stats show the Atlanta Falcons far and away have the best CB duo
We know how great A.J. Terrell was last season despite playing on a defense that easily had the worst pass rush in the entire league. He is a special player who is still learning as he is just 23 years old.
What some may not know is that the Falcons added a corner over the offseason that should also be considered elite, and there are plenty of stats that prove it to be true.
The Atlanta Falcons without question have the NFL’s best cornerback duo
Yes, I said it, the Atlanta Falcons have managed to put together the NFL’s best 1-2 punch at the cornerback position, and that isn’t an opinion, it is a fact proven by statistics.
Cornerback play can be hard to judge and nothing proves that more than the fact that Trevon Diggs had 11 interceptions but gave up more than 1,000-yard receiving yards while A.J. Terrell had 3 interceptions and gave up just 200 yards the entire year.
One of the best ways to discern corners is just by simply putting all the stats together, which is what we will do here, so if you like being overwhelmed by stats, then you came to the right place.
Let’s first go over how many games the two of them played before getting to the distinguishing stats. Casey Hayward played in all 17 games during the regular season for the Las Vegas Raiders, while A.J. Terrell played in 16 games for the Falcons.
The only game he missed was against the Giants, so safe to say, if he had played in every game, his stats would have been even better considering the Giants leading receiver that day was Kenny Golladay with 64 yards despite the fact the Falcons that the Falcons lost Isaiah Oliver halfway through the game, so they were relying exclusively on Fabian Moreau and T.J. Green.
Now we will get to the overwhelming amount of stats, from Pro Football Focus, that prove the point. The numbers in parenthesis are what they ranked amongst the 43 eligible players (minimum 500 coverage snaps).
- Targets: Terrell 66 (T7th) | Hayward 55 (2nd)
- Snaps per target: Terrell 8.2 (9th) | Hayward 11.5 (1st)
- Forced incompletions per target %: Terrell 20% (T1st) | Hayward 13% (T7th)
- Pass breakups: Terrell 13 (T4th) | Hayward 6 (T24th)
- Receptions: Terrell 29 (1st) | Hayward 30 (2nd)
- Reception %: Terrell 43.9% (1st) | Hayward 54.5% (6th)
- Coverage snaps per reception: Terrell 18.7 (2nd) | Hayward 21 (1st)
- Yards: Terrell 200 (1st) | Hayward 388 (4th)
- Yards per reception: Terrell 6.9 (1st) | Hayward 12.9 (33rd)
- Yards after catch: Terrell 93 (1st) | Hayward 114 (T2nd)
- TDs: Terrell 3 (T7th) | Hayward 2 (T2nd)
- Passer rating against: Terrell 47.5 (1st) | Hayward 81.5 (14th)
- Longest completion: Terrell 28 (1st) | Hayward 47 (21st)
- Penalties accepted: Terrell 0 | Hayward 1
That might be hard to digest so let’s look at some facts based on their league rankings.
- The duo combines for 10 first-place rankings, as well as 17 top-five rankings
- Terrell has 8 first-place rankings and 10 top-five rankings
- Hayward has 2 first-place rankings and 7 top-five rankings
- The duo has 3 stats where they rank one and two
- Both rank in the top ten in 9 out of 13 of these stats
You probably get the idea; the Falcons have two elite corners that combine to make the best corner duo in the entire league. The fact that they have the two highest ranked players when it comes to receptions allowed, coverage snaps per reception, and yards after catch allowed is astounding. Not to mention, they are both ranked high in yards, touchdowns allowed, and reception percentage,
Consider that there were only 12 NFL teams — including the Falcons with Terrell and Fabian Moreau — who had two corners play the minimum snap count and none of them combined to rank as high as Atlanta’s duo.
It should be written in stone that the Atlanta Falcons enter the 2022 NFL season with the top corner duo.