(Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
At first glance, cornerback Champ Bailey's stats (19 tackles, zero interceptions) appear modest and anything but Pro Bowl-worthy. That's because stats—especially when it comes to cornerbacks—can be very deceiving.
Smart quarterbacks do not throw at the best cornerbacks. Since 2006, when Bailey notched 10 interceptions, few quarterbacks have targeted Bailey repeatedly in a game—when they do, Bailey makes them regret it more times than not.
Philadelphia's Nnamdi Asomugha, considered by many to be one of the best cornerbacks in the league, has recorded just seven interceptions over the past six seasons.
And New York's Darrelle Revis, has recorded just five interceptions since 2010, which is comparable to Bailey's four and Asomugha's four during that same time frame.
The best cornerbacks often do not record a boatload of interceptions because offenses are smart enough to not target them. The cornerbacks that do notch six, seven, eight and more interceptions are usually talented, ball-hawking players, but also targeted often.
When a team knows a player can be beat, they'll throw against him, which results in several interceptions being recording over the course of a season.
The more a cornerback is targeted, the more opportunities he has for interceptions. But that's necessarily a good thing when judging interception stats.
That's not to take away from interceptions, they are a notable stat (heck, Bailey has 50 of them), but it should be noted that interception stats are often overrated.
And while Bailey is yet to get his hands on a pass this season, he has been reliable in Denver's secondary this season and their are few quarterbacks willing to test his coverage abilities.
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