Top NFL cornerbacks may be able to help their team get to Super Bowl

From left, Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, tight end Robert Tonyan and running back Aaron Jones celebrate a victory on Dec 19 over the Carolina Panthers in Green Bay, Wis. (AP file photo)
The Packers' Jaire Alexander celebrates winning over the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 27 in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 40-14. (AP file photo)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — When Brandon Staley looks at the defenses on the remaining eight teams in the NFL playoffs, the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator sees several top-notch groups with several qualities in common.

Yet one element stands apart — quite literally at times.

Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent’s top receiver all by himself.

The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference’s four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles’ Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans’ Marshon Lattimore. There’s also Los Angeles’ Darious Williams, who quietly had one of the most impressive coverage seasons in the league, and Tampa Bay’s underrated duo of Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean.

On the AFC side are Pro Bowlers Tre’Davious White of Buffalo — a second-team All-Pro — and Marlon Humphrey of Baltimore, along with the Ravens’ Marcus Peters and Cleveland’s Denzel Ward.


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