I'll admit after the departure of Michael Vick that my watching of the Atlanta Falcons really dropped off. Even in their return to playoffs last year, I rarely had them on. However, this year, it's almost impossible not to watch them.
The Falcons are dominating the NFC at 11-2 and have only lost to Philly and Pittsburgh, two of the leagues other best teams. Everyone knows the Falcons are good though; that's not the point.
The real point is that while watching them last two weeks I have really started to notice how good CB Brent Grimes is. A lot of people outside of Atlanta might just know him as the guy Josh Freeman nailed out of bounds, but I'd suggest you watch him play a little bit. That play sealed the game though if you remember.
Big free-agent signing Dunta Robinson is the $57 million feature corner in Atlanta, picked up off of waivers this offseason. He has somewhat overshadowed Grimes in the national media.
Grimes played college ball at Shippensburg and played in NFL Europa before the Falcons signed him in 2007, so he was un-drafted. He didn't see much playing time until 2009, when he started and led the team in interceptions that year in the final year of his exclusive-rights contract with the team. This offseason he was re-signed, and is making just under half a million, but he is earning every bit of it and probably worth even more.
Granted is not always matched up against the other team's best receiver, but he covers very well either way. Also, for a relatively undersized player, he is a good wrap-up tackler and with his speed can get to ball quickly. Grimes has fearlessly lined up face to face with stars like Boldin, Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson, Ochocinco and Greg Jennings.
Statistically, he is second on the team in tackles with 62. He is tied four the team lead in interceptions with four, and is second in the entire NFL is passed defensed. Almost all of his passes defensed come either on third downs and in the second half, where they are more valuable. His stats are good, but stats can never tell the entire story, so I'd suggest you watch him play.
Overall, Brent Grimes is certainly not the best cornerback in the NFL, but for all the stats he has and the way he plays the game, he is vastly overlooked. If I were to make predictions, I'd expect the Falcons to keep him (he's a restricted free agent after this season) and I wouldn't be surprised if you hear name mentioned more in the future.