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What was the single greatest season by a Falcons CB?

There have been some truly tremendous ones in the team’s long history.

1980 Divisional Round: Dallas Cowboys v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Today, it’s time to talk about the best cornerback seasons in team history, and to vote. We’re getting close to the end of our all-time seasons campaign, and then we’ll vote on the best single season fo any player, regardless of position.

The Falcons are still waiting for their next truly great cornerback to come along, as the latest season I saw fit to include here was Brent Grimes’ 2010. That’s not a knock on Desmond Trufant or Robert Alford, who both had terrific years from 2013 on, but they never quite reached the heights of some of the Hall of Famers and Ring of Honor-caliber corners the Falcons have had in the past.

Let’s review the contenders.

1969 Ken Reaves

Reaves was one of the best defenders of those early, awful Falcons teams, and he earned his sole Pro Bowl nod for this season, where he picked three passes and was one of the league’s best corners. If you’re a fan of coverage chops and forgotten seasons, you’re probably looking at this one.

1977 Rolland Lawrence

This wasn’t Lawrence’s career high season for interceptions, or fumble recoveries, or anything like that. Sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story, or even a great story, because Lawrence was phenomenal this year.

Remember, 1977 was the best defensive year Atlanta ever put together, and it took a lot of heroic individual efforts to make that happen. Few were finer than Lawrence’s, as he was at the height of his powers here in a career that simply doesn’t get enough shine, and was perhaps the most shutdown cornerback in the NFL this year.

1988 Scott Case

Improbably, this was Case’s second-to-last season as a cornerback for the Falcons, as he switched to safety after that and was hugely successful there.

This year, though, he set the single-season record for interceptions with 10, added a sack, and was one of the hardest-hitting cornerbacks in the NFL. That’s more than enough to put this season on this list.

1991 Deion Sanders

You knew we had to put Prime Time on this list. Deion’s short but brilliant run in Atlanta deserves recognition more or less across the board, but this 6 pick, 2 forced fumble effort fueled a great season for Atlanta and saw Sanders begin to get the recognition that would lead to him being named a Pro Bowler later. At his best—and he was at his best this year—he simply erased receivers.

1998 Ray Buchanan

Another underrated player enjoying arguably his best year during a dominant season for the Falcons. Buchanan picked seven passes as an aggressive presence in a very good secondary, earning an All-Pro nod and keying one of the best defenses in team history.

2006 DeAngelo Hall

It was a brief stint in Atlanta that ended unceremoniously, but it’s easy to forget how good Hall was for a little while there. I’d put his 2006 season up as his best effort, as he picked 4 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, recovered a fumble, deflected 16 passes, and generally used those wheels to make life hell for opposing quarterbacks.

2010 Brent Grimes

Everyone who has played for this Falcons team since Grimes has been trying to live up to this year, one of the best in Falcons history.

This year, Grimes was an elite cornerback, picking 5 passes, deflecting 23, and generally playing the kind of insanely great coverage that would earn him big contracts and praise at other stops. I was always a little amazed Grimes went undrafted given his athleticism, and no season gave a better indication of just how special he was than this year.

Who wins in your hearts and minds?


Who had the single greatest CB season in Falcons history?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1969 Ken Reaves
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    1977 Rolland Lawrence
    (23 votes)
  • 20%
    1988 Scott Case
    (72 votes)
  • 38%
    1991 Deion Sanders
    (137 votes)
  • 6%
    1998 Ray Buchana
    (24 votes)
  • 2%
    2006 DeAngelo Hall
    (10 votes)
  • 21%
    2010 Brent Grimes
    (77 votes)
  • 1%
    Other (please specify)
    (5 votes)
354 votes total Vote Now