Can Desmond Trufant Take Tom Brady?

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Fact: Desmond Trufant is the reason Waldo is hiding.

If you don't think Desmond Trufant has proven himself, then leave. I mean it, just leave. Log out, close your computer, walk out of the room, walk out the front door, get in your car, drive across the state line, drive across a few more state lines, cross the Canadian border, park your car, get out of your car, and have a seat. Then stay there.

Trufant isn't just an NFL-ready corner back, he's presently the most reliable member of the Falcons' secondary. Not what we expected, what with Asante Samuel, William Moore, and Thomas Decoud also donning the red and black. But Trufant has effectively silenced his detractors by proving to be consistently reliable. Reliable. That, my friends, is the adjective you want to use when describing a starting corner back. Sure, he hasn't been wow-worthy at every turn, but even so, he hasn't hampered the Falcons' ability to win. For a rookie corner back, you really can't expect much more.

Trufant will continue to be referenced as "the Falcons' rookie corner back," as if that necessarily determines his ability to contribute. Look, I understand that corner back is a position with a particularly steep learning curve, and if you aren't intimately familiar with the Falcons, it's a logical storyline. But there are exceptions. Trufant has, at least to this point, shown himself to be one such exception. In three games, Pro Football Focus has Trufant grading out negatively in pass coverage, but not by much. Without a doubt, he's been the best rookie corner back in the NFL this year. Did you see D.J. Hayden get owned by Peyton Manning last week? Did you see Brian Hoyer make Xavier Rhodes and company look like complete chumps? Yeah. I did too.

Don't get me wrong, Trufant will certainly have his hands full with Tom Brady. Brady is a future hall of famer who can turn it on like a light switch. That said, he's been relatively underwhelming in 2013. While the Patriots are 3-0, Brady isn't play particularly well. His QBR is 50.7 (16/34 qualifying quarterbacks), his DVOA is -25.6% (25/34 qualifying quarterbacks). He's thrown just 5 touchdown passes and he's completing less than 60 percent of his passes. In short, from a quantitative standpoint, he's not the Brady we're accustomed to.

Brady will test Trufant, and he won't wait to do it. He will immediately push the young corner back. If Trufant survives this test, he will have held his own against two sure-fire Hall of Famers in his first three games of professional football. Not a bad week at the office.

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