Robert Alford says he's a top-10 CB with room for improvement

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"I feel like I'm top 10 [cornerback] in this league," Alford told ESPN. "Last year, I was doing my thing. Came into this year, I did my thing. At the end of the day, I just have to get back to my style of play and make those plays that the team needs me to make that I've been making in the past.

"I haven't made those plays this season, but we have [two] games left. All I have to do is show my worth and go out there and ball my tail off."cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Alford was referring to creating more turnovers, something the Falcons had not been consistent with this season, until getting four takeaways against the Arizona Cardinals last week. Alford, who has 10 career interceptions and a pair of pick-sixes and intercepted Tom Brady for a touchdown in Super Bowl LI, does not have a takeaway in the 13 games he has played in 2018.

There is one category where Alford is the team leader and would rather not be: penalties. He has drawn 12 flags. Eight of them were accepted for 82 yards and eight first downs. Alford has had five pass interference calls, five defensive holds and two illegal contacts called against him.4

"As you know, they upped the rules this year in penalties, and they wanted more flags called," Alford said. "But you can let that get to you. That's the nature of the game.

"Some penalties are bad calls. Some penalties are good. The refs, they get graded too, in every game. I think that's a thing that a lot of people don't know. It's not that every penalty is a penalty. I'll go back after the season is over with, of course, and sort those penalties out and see which ones I can correct and see which ones probably shouldn't have been called. At the end of the day, they were called and are going to get tallied down as a penalty."cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Alford's penalty issues are part of the reason skeptics wonder if it's time for the Falcons to move on from him. Both Alford and fellow starting cornerback Desmond Trufant have drawn their share of criticism this season, with the defense allowing opponents to convert almost 50 percent of third downs. The lack of a pass rush has contributed to those secondary problems. Trufant still has four years and $44.75 million remaining on his deal, with a salary-cap number of $13.9 million next season. Meanwhile, Alford still has two years and $17 million left on his deal, with a cap number of $9.1 million in 2019.

When asked if he was worried about his immediate future with the team, Alford just shrugged his shoulders.

"Not at all," he said. "The Man above is going to handle it. It's a lot of things that people don't know in between the lines that are going on. No, not at all. It's in God's hands."

Alford didn't want to use it as a crutch, but it's obvious the ankle injury he suffered in October that caused him to miss the Nov. 4 game at the Washington Redskins affected his play.

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