Meanwhile, few NFL secondaries had tougher 2010 campaigns than the Minnesota Vikings', who were decimated by injuries and especially hampered by inexperienced play at the cornerback position.
So what will we get when those two dynamics come together Sunday in San Diego? Here's what Vikings cornerback Chris Cook told reporters Wednesday about the nickel combination of Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin and himself: "I talk with Antoine about that all the time. I was like, 'Man, we can go out and be the best three in the league if we all do what we know we can do.'"
Hmmm. Winfield is one of the NFL's top cornerbacks, even at age 34. But Griffin is returning from his second anterior cruciate ligament tear in as many seasons. And Cook looked lost during a good portion of his rookie season, which admittedly included two minor knee surgeries.
But it's clear that Cook, for one, believes he has made dramatic strides since then.
"A lot of the big receivers in the league, they like to throw jump balls to them and just put the ball up in the air for them whether they're covered or not," Cook told reporters. "I'm looking forward to that happening a lot this year. I can't wait for this game on Sunday so we go out here and beat these guys and I can go out and show what I have."
I'll put the over-under on Rivers' passing yards Sunday at 300. Your thoughts?