When Asante Samuel was traded to Atlanta in the offseason last year, some said the 32-year-old cornerback was past his prime. Samuel responded with another solid season, one of many in his 10-year career.
Samuel ended 2012 with five interceptions and 19 passes defensed. The interception total is in line with Samuel's career average, but the passes defensed number he earned last season is his highest since the 2008 season. That number of passes defensed by Samuel ranked fifth in the NFL
According to Stats LLC., Samuel allowed only 39 pass completions on 74 targets at him. That resulted in a 52.7 percent rate going in Samuel's direction.
His final interception of the season was also a benchmark in his career. Against Tampa Bay in the season-ending game, Samuel picked off the 50th pass of his career. According to Stats LLC., he's the second fastest cornerback in league history to reach 50 interceptions. He is one of just 10 cornerbacks to intercept 50 passes in a career and his total is second most among active cornerbacks and fourth among all active players.
Last season's five interceptions ranked Samuel second on the team and tied for seventh in the NFL. The Falcons and the Redskins were the only two teams in the NFL last season to field three players with four-or-more interceptions.