Richard Sherman is back to his shutdown CB form

After a slow start to his season, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was excellent in Seattle's win over Dallas.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Richard Sherman is back to his shutdown CB form

Richard Sherman has not been his usual self this season. Heading into the game Sunday against the Cowboys, teams throwing at him this season had a passer rating of 100.3, or only slightly worse than when targeting teammate Cary Williams. He had allowed 66.7 percent of the balls thrown his way to be caught, and he was giving up 15.4 yards per reception. He had yet to intercept a pass and had notched just two passes defensed.

All of these were major anomalies in a career that has seen him notch stellar statistics as well as great play. He is still among the least targeted corners in the league, but he hasn’t matched the stats he has every other year of his career. Heading into this season the worst passer rating he has ever surrendered over a season was 57.3, as a rookie. The highest percentage of targets to be caught he has ever allowed was 50.9 percent, in 2013.

On Sunday, however, Sherman was back to his best, locking down Dez Bryant for much of the game, with an assist from the poor quarterback play of Matt Cassel. He earned the highest grade of any cornerback for the week.

Cassel threw Sherman’s way five times. He completed one of those passes for 15 yards. Sherman broke up the other four.

In what is rare for Sherman, he also spent the game moving around to follow Bryant when the defense dictated it. Sherman played most of his 61 snaps at his usual left cornerback spot, but also played on the right side 18 times, including for a great pass breakup down the sideline on a deep pass that really highlighted how good he can be with the ball in the air.

Bryant won the handfighting battle on release from the line and gained some separation, but unlike most corners who would desperately trying to regain the lost ground and recover, Sherman immediately turned instead to locate the football, getting himself in a better position to play it in the air and break the pass up.

As he usually is, Cassel was happy to provide an assist with an underthrown pass, but this is what separates Sherman from other corners when he is on his game. Most corners would have still had their heads turned to Bryant trying to make up ground and close the separation between the two, and as a result they would never have found the football and likely would have lost to Bryant at the catch point, even with the underthrown pass.

Sherman allowed just 20 percent of the passes thrown his way by the Cowboys to be caught, despite covering one of the game’s best receivers all day (albeit one who was in his first game back from injury). When Sherman was targeted by Matt Cassel he yielded a passer rating of just 39.6, or about the same as it would have been if he’d just not bothered and thrown the ball into the turf every time instead.

That’s about as lockdown as it gets from Sherman, who showed he is still the league’s best cornerback on his best days.

| Senior Analyst

Sam is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus, as well as a contributor to ESPN and NBCSports.

  • alexander

    need to see this against an elite QB and a healthy WR

    • ersander

      ? ok than pull up one of the many games hes dominated an Elite QB and healthy WR in the last few years, shouldn’t take that long to find.

      • Anonymous

        It would be extremely hard to find a game that he has followed, and dominated a WR in the last few years, because he’s never done it until this season, a season in which, despite yesterday’s good performance, is the worst statistical season of his career.

        • saroeup tuy

          He followed Bryant last year second half and half Bryant to just 40 yards! That’s pretty good

          • Anonymous

            40 yards and 30 yards in penalties and yes that is pretty good but is that “many games” as the previous poster said?

          • saroeup tuy

            This year I don’t think sherman has taken a step back I just feel the defense communication and coaching scheme is the cause. Sherman always look like he’s getting torched because of the zone defense but the card Williams pick up was a bad one because cary is slow and isn’t physical like maxwell. Maxwell isn’t afraid to tackle. With lane coming back in a few weeks that should help out but the real issue is Wilson and the offense. Wilson doesn’t look prepared and he’s letting the outside distractions get to his preparations.

          • TBarnes

            I disagree – I think it looks like Wilson can’t and won’t trust he’ll get protection long enough and so he looks to escape, even when it isn’t necessary. Many of his ‘sacks’ are failed escapes where he’s run down short of the LoS. He has reason to not trust this line – until last week they lead the league in sacks, hurries and hits on the QB and this DESPITE Seattle’s tendency to throw far less than most, if not all teams. Think about that for a second – they throw about half as often as some yet LEAD THE LEAGUE in these really terrible categories.
            This line has been hot and cold in run blocking as well – leading to inconsistency on offense, putting more pressure on the defense. Exacerbating the issue the play calling – especially in critical situations has run and passed exactly when expected leading to an advantage for the defense. This leads to critical 3-and-outs at the worst times. We’ve had to rely on the D making those critical stops – and sometimes they haven’t been able to. The offense needs to pull its own weight. It’s supposed to be a weapon too.

            Seattle’s offseason MUST include critical attention to their OL. The performance of this group IMO is the only reason this team has any struggles at all. They’ve tried a few times with Carpentar, Moffitt, Britt – but they need to keep trying until they fix it or their franchise QB will be a broken down wreck too soon.

          • ersander

            The argument isn’t whether there are “many” or not, the post was in response to the original comment saying he simply needs to see “a” (an) example, there are plenty examples to choose from. Its not like this is the first time in his career its been suggested he’s a shut down corner.

          • eYeDEF

            He’s done it whenever there have been injuries to the other side that demanded he take the best receiver. There was a stretch in the middle of last season beginning with Dallas that injuries to Maxwell and Simon slow to come back from his injury had Sherman shadowing the opposing best receiver. It’s just plain wrong to say he hasn’t done it, he just doesn’t do it with the regularity if the opposing QB is healthy and playing well. This season with Cary Williams being a major liability he’ll probably be doing it the rest of the season.

          • Anonymous

            Hey! There you are was wondering when you’d jump in.

            Fine hadn’t done it regularly.

            You and I had a nice debate about that Revis article I called Sam out for earlier this year. Specifically about Edelman giving him problems. What’d you think post game? Think obviously Edelman should have caught a TD on that one drop but that was the only time he was targeted with Revis on him. Thoughts?

          • Jefferson

            Since you in almost every post, on a statistics site no less, you systematically ignore and distort evidence to support your biased judgement, let me summarize again for you.

            Richard Sherman resume highlights against top receivers:

            – trailed and dominated Anquan Boldin when he was PFF #3 WR,

            – trailed and dominated Dez Bryant when he was PFF’s #4 ranked WR in passing,
            – (mostly) trailed and dominated Andre Johnson when he was PFF #5 WR,

            – trailed and dominated AJ Green when he was PFF #6 WR,
            – trailed and dominated Nate Washington when he was PFF #15 WR.

            While not trailing every snap against the following receivers, he nevertheless virtually dominated all the snaps he did have across from:

            – Marques Colston,

            – Larry Fitzgerald,

            – Demaryius Thomas,

            – Jimmy Graham,

            and many, many, many more I don’t remember.

            In a final telling example, when one of the greatest arm talents in the history of the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, completely avoids one half of the field for an entire game because it is covered by Richard Sherman, you know that both your scheme AND the cornerback are doing something right!

        • ersander

          He actually has had games prior to this season that he covered a top WR, just doing it on a more regular basis this year. But regardless, the requisite the commenter proposed was a “healthy” receiver, not a “top” one. Christ people love to manifest arguments behind anonymity lol. The fact that he’s consistently even in this debate, says plenty in itself.

        • Jefferson

          Sherman bests most receivers he faces. That’s why he scores consistently well here and at every other advanced statistics site. It’s not that complex. This year alone: Dez Bryant, Torrey Smith, AJ Green. You of course would know his performances against Bryant and Green are ‘repeat performances’ if you actually followed the player you have such a hate-on for. The NFC West is not known for elite receiving talent but Sherman routinely locked down Fitzgerald, Crabtree and Boldin. He has shut down other top and very good receivers as well, e.g. Andre Johnson in 2013 when he was PFF #5 ranked WR. Do some research before opening your mouth.

          • Anonymous

            I think on this article alone I’ve proven to be a follower of many football players. Sherman included. Anyone that follows Seattle even remotely closely knows they’re not a man coverage team and until 3 games ago didn’t consistently move their corners around.

            When you say he “shut down plenty of receivers” that is not accurate. He shut down his side. Not the same thing as following Dez around and holding him to 2 catches.

            But the point I’m making below is that Revis has been there, done that and is still doing it. You think it’s a coincidence that when the job description got more difficult his raw numbers dropped off?

            There’s a bunch of excellent corners out there, I follow all of them but Revis remains to gold standard of consistency season in, season out and it’s really no contest.

            I’ll say this though, of the big money corners, Haden hasn’t lived up to the price tag, Peterson gave up 8 TDs last year although he’s playing much better this season. Sherman and Revis have thus far justified their contracts. Would say talib and Harris have as well.

          • TBarnes

            You say it’s not the same thing – but you imply covering one guy is more difficult and playing man is more difficult. That’s your opinion – not a fact. To me these are distinctly different skills. I’d say as well Revis has NOT excelled at times when the scheme didn’t allow him to maximize his best skills. It’s all subjective.

            The point most of us are making is that people have downplayed Sherman’s play with the statement that he can’t or won’t follow the #1 receiver. Many even imply it’s his choice! Then, when the scheme changes and he does they have other excuses – he wasn’t healthy enough, had a bum throwing to him, etc etc. You can’t have it both ways. You don’t sign your name so its hard to tell what you’ve said or not said.

          • Anonymous

            My name is Anonymous. It’s all me. It is subjective but players have been able to convince coaches for particular assignments. It can be a group decision. It’s not like coaches don’t listen to input from players.

            It can be considered an opinion that man is more difficult and following one guy is more difficult but I’ll ask you this: was it more difficult for Sherman to follow Dez around last game or for him to cover some 3rd WR rookie in the first game of 2014? I mean that’s gotta be a fact to you that Dez is more difficult to cover right?

            And I addressed this to you in another post, but it only looks like a downplay when compared to elite vs elite. There’s a reason that most WR’s and CB’s (currently playing and past players) you listened to on TV/radio picked having Revis over Sherman in the lead up to the Super Bowl last season. I see you’re a Hawks fan so I’m sure you heard all of it. I’m not downplaying him, he’s a great player. But he’s not Revis, that’s it.

            You should read some stuff on Football Outsiders by Cian Fahey. He does a very respectable job detailing cornerback play.


          • Jefferson

            Actually, Tbarnes raised a different point that you didn’t address. Zone versus man coverage. Totally different skills.

            I just addressed in a post above the fact that Sherman’s PFF scores and visible performance don’t actually drop off when following receivers.

            In your post here you also seem to cast aspersions that Sherman may be responsible for the system the Seahawks run and his assignments within it. In other words he lobbies for his ‘easier job description’. This is preposterous and completely contradicted by the evidence.

            Sherman begs publicly and by all accounts privately as well to follow the best WR and has done so for a long time. This year the lobbying has virtually become a systematic campaign involving many players. In multiple interviews you have not only Sherman but Thomas repeatedly extolling the merits of Sherman following the #1. It has never been a result of Sherman’s decision or influence that he covers a side.

            I don’t know why people get worked up over these things, trying in vain to prove one outstanding player is slightly better than another outstanding player. There will always be selectivity and subjectivity in the factors used to evaluate. It’s very obvious that Sherman has certain advantages (e.g. wingspan) and Revis others (e.g. lateral quickness) when comparing the two. How does one choose?

            Of course, if you stick to obvious objective metrics for CB effectiveness such as coverage snaps / reception, touchdowns allowed and interceptions, you would find that by career comparison Sherman performs significantly better than Revis. That would at least take the selectivity and subjectivity out of it, but again, why bother with this game.

          • Jefferson

            First of all, you hypothesize there is a correlation between Sherman’s lower coverage grades in 2015 and his more difficult ‘job description’ this year. I suggest the opposite is confirmed: following receivers has resulted in equivalent or better scores than in past when Sherman covered one side.

            To my knowledge, this year Sherman followed receivers only in the CIN, SF and DAL games. Good receivers too (2 of the 3 arguably in the top 5). I am not aware of Sherman consistently following a WR in any other game this year.

            Now, if you look at his average PFF coverage scores in those 3 games, you will see that it is exactly on par or better than previous years. Your hypthesis is disproven. In fact the alternate conclusions that Sherman does as well, or better, when following receivers is more plausible on the evidence. Further evidence of the same is found in past cases of Sherman following WRs.. I provided some of these examples: Sherman did follow Fitzgerald, Boldin and others in the past and completely locked them down.

            Second point. If you watched the only two games in which PFF scored Sherman very poorly, GB and CAR, and you followed the subsequent discussions about these games, you be open to a very different hypothesis than the one you advanced.

            While Sherman did not have his best games in those two outings, he also very likely did not deserve such low scores. Rather, PFF speculated that Sherman was to blame for plays that included some obvious coverage breakdowns that could not readily be attributed to Sherman. PFF, as always, can only score on the basis of speculation about a player’s assignment and the play call.

            In the case of recent coverage breakdowns in the Seahawk secondary, much has been written and reported. In particular it seems clear that Sherman was not the cause of at least some of the most notorious and costly cases of blown coverage (e.g. the last Greg Olsen catch with no CB following him because the entire secondary was executing two different play calls / signals).

        • AZdove

          Anquan Boldin v 49ers last year in Seattle. There are many others.

      • Bob

        How about the game last year when Aaron Rodgers didn’t throw at him once?

    • leandean

      There is always some caveat with you guys. Last week
      it was ‘never covers the best receiver’. This week it’s health and
      backup qb. Next week it’ll be lost that parking space to a tight end

  • Anonymous

    Yet again PFF showing their particular love for certain teams/players.

    Richard Sherman back to his “shutdown” best after one game against Dez coming off an injury with Cassell and QB (yet still no INT’s or takeaways for the entire season). Article even states: got worked off the line, then took advantage of a bad throw. So what if it was a good, or even decent throw? This is what I mean by grading with a bias as opposed to the way it used to be graded.

    If it were any other corner, you’d have given them a less positive grade than you likely gave Sherman for that play. You would have taken into account the fact that he got beat on the release and was only afforded the opportunity to make a play because of the negative play by the QB.

    JJ Watt “career best game” when the Texans finally don’t get blown off the field by 40 points.

    • Anonymous

      Another example is you, specifically Sam, wrote an article about Darrelle Revis “slowing down” at the end of last season despite grading in the top 5 on PFF’s now titled scale and being first team All-Pro and cited a couple of examples throughout an entire season as “evidence” as if he no one is ever supposed to get beat.

      Then yesterday on twitter you overreact to Cooper catching to passes in a row. Yet Cooper caught 4 passes with Revis in his coverage for the entire game for less than 40 yards. One being a WR bubble screen for 3 yards and one being a pass that was targeted to a different receiver and deflected off that guys hands right to Cooper. That was it. For the game. Yet no mention of it after or during the game.

      Or no article saying “hey my bad Revis is still graded as the second best CB in terms of coverage grade this season and leads the NFL in takeaways, maybe he isn’t slowing down quite yet”. But Sherman has one good game (finally) and you’re all over it.

      • PFFSamMonson

        Jets fan? Alrighty then.

        Yes Revis gave up only 34 yards and 4 catches, but he was also beat bad for what should have been a big play but Carr missed it. He’s playing well, but he isn’t the guy he used to be. You can even see it in the way he plays, giving up more of a cushion to anybody with speed he respects and fears.

        As for the Sherman stuff, losing off the line is not losing. Sherman allowed separation on the play but wasn’t at all concerned because he knows what it takes to get a ball over him. Instead of panicking he turned and played the ball, beating Bryant to it at the catch point. That’s not grading with bias, it’s grading with understanding.

        As for Dez coming off a foot injury – So what? Point me to the play where his foot was an issue.

        • Anonymous

          Again, I’ll point you to the play where the QB was the issue, which is the play in question. Curious to know what grade you gave Sherman on that play and what grade did you give Cassel and what grade did you give Dez?

          Obviously, the foot had to be healed in order for him to be out there, but what about conditioning? That had no effect on it at all?

          When did Revis get “beat bad” for what should have been a big play? Surely not that first play of the game where he knows there’s a safety right there. You also addressed nothing of my follow up post.

          To continue, what about when Sherman got beat the one time and then missed the tackle? No mention of it. This is the bias I’m talking about. If it’s going to be tit-for-tat about one play here, one play there with Revis it should be the same for everyone.

          If he’s not physically the guy he used to be, which I also addressed in your post-2014 season article, he’s still not getting beat at any of a greater rate than previous seasons outside of 2009 which is the best season of his career or anyone’s in PFF era for that matter. And his PFF metrics this season show that. If that’s what you’re gonna compare to, at least say that because no one is going to match that.

          You specifically said in that article that teams were going to start “attacking him more” because they see weaknesses in his game, yet he’s still one of the least targeted or was THE least targeted going into week 8. No mention of it by you.

          • PFFSamMonson

            He IS being targeted more by teams. 7 CBs have been thrown at less on a per coverage snap basis than Revis. Last year, and the year before that, there was one – Sherman.

            First play of the game the safety is the deep middle of the field in Cover-3. If you think he’s playing for safety help then we’re done here. Revis is playing that one on one and gets beat by the double move. If he’s happy there’s safety help there he wouldn’t be busting his ass to desperately try and close that separation as the ball flies past. Contrast this by Sherman’s reaction to a similar situation and you’ll see the difference between getting beat on the play and being in control of the situation.

            There was in fact mention of the reception Sherman gave up. His one of the day. From 5 targets. He allowed one catch. He broke up 4 passes.

            Again, point me to the play in which Dez Bryant was restricted. Dez Bryant looked like Dez Bryant out there and he was shut down by Sherman almost all game long. He was aided by bad QB play. All of this is in the article yet you’re still trying to claim it’s evidence of some mythical bias.

          • Anonymous

            Maybe listen to the way Derick Carr describes the “lack of” supposed safety help on that play before you assume there wasn’t supposed to be a safety there.

            And again, losing off the line and losing are not the same thing (your words not mine). Was it a catch? No. You’re giving credit to Sherman for making a play on an underthrown ball yet bashing Revis for getting beat and having the QB throw the ball miles out of bounds. That is the “mythical bias” I’m describing.


            My question again is, what if it was a good throw? How about this for a restriction, Dez wasn’t in the game for 20% of their plays.

            And again, you’re focusing on one play, tit-for-tat. Not the whole body of work. You’re real quick to tweet when Cooper catches two passes in a row, but then nothing after he essentially gets erased from the game after.

            You mentioned Sherman gave up a catch but you never said “he was beat badly and then missed the tackle”, which is how you just described the first play of the game by Revis.

            Then you cherry picked targets per coverage snap as opposed to total targets because there’s only one CB that’s been targeted less IN TOTAL. Point is you favor Sherman over Revis and the way you write about them, not only in articles but now in the comments section prove this. Just like this website loves to write about JJ Watt even when his team is getting trounced by 40 points. We’re talking about great players here so I’m not saying that Watt or Sherman aren’t great players but Revis has outperformed him by any measurable metric this season and this website loves to write about certain ones and not others.

            And we can keep going tit-for-tat about one play here or there, but I called you out for writing an article that “proved” Darrelle Revis is slowing down and then you didn’t do any sort of update that shows he’s performing as well as ever but the second Sherman has a great game you were all over it. THAT is the “mythical bias”.

          • PFFSamMonson

            On that play the safety is rolling to the deep middle of the field. It’s a C1/3 look, the safety is on the hash at the time Carr puts the ball in the air. At that point Cooper is level and busy blowing past Revis. If you think Revis is playing for the safety that’s rolling away from him at the time you’re just wrong. The safety does a nice job of getting back over, but it’s not why the pass was incomplete.

            I’ve already explained why the play by Revis and Sherman is different, and not influenced by bias. A good throw here clearly beats Revis who is never in any position to defend it. A good throw against Sherman? We’ll never know because Sherman was never beaten badly enough that he didn’t play the football.

            Dez missing snaps is because of the foot? He played in 50 of 61 snaps. That’s 82%. His season average last season was 85.3%. You’re talking about the difference of 2 snaps in this game. You think they kept Dez deliberately off the field for 2 extra snaps at random times because he was unfit? Or do you think maybe you’re reaching for a point that’s just not there?

            I use yards per coverage snap because it’s a better number. Targets is directly influenced by how much you’re on the field.

            I’m done with this now. This site, and this writer, has no bias towards or against either of these players. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one of the two of us who can make that claim.

          • Anonymous

            So you once again focused on two plays in question, the “tit-for-tat” as I’ve been describing it and once again refused to provide me the grade for the plays. “Targets is directly influenced by how much you’re on the field”. Revis is on the field 97% of the snaps the Jets have played and they had their bye week, so the total number of coverage snaps is going to be lower (as are the total targets, depending on who the receiver he faces is when the other guys around him having their bye week. better receiver = more targets. ie. Edelman, TY, Amari. Worse receiver = less targets. ie. Agholar.)

            Then I suggested that perhaps fatigue could have been a factor, not the foot. I’d have to do some digging, but I’m willing to bet his snap counts were higher than 82% in games decided by 7 points or less last season. 85% is an average, including games where they won or lost by 3+ scores.

            And for the third time, you failed to address my concern with your “Darrelle Revis is slowing down” article when compared to the level he is playing at this year, your quick tweeting about the Amari vs. Revis matchup yesterday, and your silence when Sherman was playing like crap.

            Also, I don’t happen to be a Jets fan so I don’t have any bias. So you can be done with this now, I’m just saying if you’re going to write that a guy like Revis is slowing down, that might be a good one to follow up on halfway through the following season.

            I’ve seen you do if before when you took your medicine on Brady being washed after the Chiefs game last year so I know you can do it; but then again, he plays for New England.

          • PFFSamMonson

            I was not silent when Sherman was playing poorly. I have tweeted on the subject and there have been articles go up on the topic.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry you had one tweet on October 20 about his passer rating against in each season of his career showing this was by far the worst. And you waited 5 weeks into the season to do so. For Revis it was 2 plays into the first quarter yesterday, despite the body of work over the whole season and the actual final outcome of Revis-Cooper matchup.

            Then some chatter after shutting down torrey smith (LOL) and then a great game against Dez and BOOM he’s the best in the league again. The only other specific articles that went up (outside of the weekly game grades) were that Seahawks having miscommunication in the secondary.

            Final time, please address my concern with your “Darrelle Revis is slowing down” article when compared to the level he is playing at this year. I’m just saying if you’re going to write that a guy like Revis is slowing down, that might be a good one to follow up on halfway through the following season.

          • PFFSamMonson


            Week 2 wrote about his career-low grade.

            With all due respect, I do not write or tweet according to what will please you and tick any deluded fairness quotient you seem to have. I will write and tweet whatever I please when it seems appropriate.

            Sherman was excellent last night. That was a story. Revis has been good this year, not excellent as he has been in the past. There is nothing there to revisit yet.

          • Anonymous

            My apologies, missed that week 2 article.

            Sherman was excellent. It was a story. No one is denying that. Obviously anyone is free to say what they please, but I’ve seen your love of Sherman manifest in your writing and that’s fine if you own it.

            So it wasn’t a story when Revis allowed 10 receiving yards total during 3 consecutive games? Or that these are his metrics despite you saying he was due to be slowing down?

            INT’s and Takeaways in general: Most since 2011
            TD’s allowed: 1 (least since 2011 to date)
            QB Rating against: 36.0, best since 2009
            Burn %: 39% (tied for best in the NFL)
            Completion % against: 46.7, best since 2011
            2nd in PFF coverage grade, 6th in PFF’s new 100 point grading system.

            How is this not “as excellent as has been in the past”? There’d be nothing to revisit if you hadn’t said he was supposed to be slowing down, but since you did, there’s plenty to REVISit.

          • PFFSamMonson

            That article ended with this paragraph: “Revis will be a fine corner again in 2015, but he’ll also be earning $16m, so you would certainly hope so. In 2016, he’ll be earning $17m, and the year after $15.3m. Somewhere along that timeline I think the decline in his physical skills is going to mean he no longer justifies that money. If it’s 2017 theJets timed the contract perfectly, because just $6m of that year is guaranteed. If it’s before that, then the Jets miscalculated and could have a costly mistake on their hands.”

            I’m not revisiting it because nothing that has happened since has contradicted the piece or what I suggested would happen.

          • Anonymous

            How about the 2 paragraphs before that final one?

            “the question is whether it’s showing the beginnings of something we should be concerned by for Revis. And I think it is…his aura of invincibility is dissolving. Players no longer fear getting stranded on Revis Island, because the tape shows you can now escape and make big plays.”

            So where are the big plays? Why isn’t he being targeted much more frequently than normal?

            And how about “Somewhere along that timeline I think the decline in his physical skills is going to mean he no longer justifies that money”.

            Look Father Time is undefeated we all know that, but let’s at least agree to revisit this at the end of the season then since clearly to this point the money is justified.

          • Rich H

            Honestly, your overall arguments would carry a bunch more credence if you weren’t making them anonymously. Also, it does bear mentioning that I’ve seen plenty of comments go the other way when @PFFSamMonson:disqus sees a bad week by Sherman (and others.). Sorry, but “butthurt” is not really grounds for an argument.

          • Tony L. Castleberry

            Even st Sherman’s WORST (early in this season) he was not playing all that poorly. There was a lot of flukey stuff going on in those games. Seattle should be undefeated right now but instead they are 4-4 and all of their losses were by ten points or less (all but one were less; usually just a field goal.). Those kinds of results (which started with the first game against St. Louis) cause confusion and loss of proper focus for almost any player.
            In any case Sherman has earned the right to have a couple bad games at some point. he is the top CB in the NFL and this has not changed, nor will it change until he is a bit older.

            Speaking of which Revis is definitely slowing down and you would be a fool to say otherwise. Don’t just look at Pro Football Focus stats (which are notorious for their ‘not really telling the whole truth’ (to put it mildly) way of using stats). Revis started slowing down 2-3 seasons ago. He has not been on an “island” for years now and QBs no longer fear him the same way they used to. They still fear Sherman though (ask the NFL’s best QB Aron Rodgers about that).

            Some QBs are smart and realizing Seattle has no Jeremy Lane they stick with high percentage short dump off passes because they know what Sherman can and usually will do to them if they don’t.

          • Jefferson

            It’s pretty obvious to anyone what bias Sam was referring to above: your Revis-bias not your Jefs-bias.

            And you are really and obviously reaching when it comes to the evidence. 85% snaps vs 82% snaps. Now you want to carve it up by close games? This approach is very consistent with bias. Bryant himself said after practices leading up to the game that his foot and conditioning were just fine, and he has repeated these statements since the game.

            Sherman’s play against Bryant was simply textbook. A clinic. If there is an asterisk to the meeting, it’s not Dez’s health, it’s his offensive pass interference denying Sherman an interception or two.

          • TBarnes

            Correction – games.. And he’s also answered the critics that say he never takes the #1 receiver. It was not in the scheme before, not his choice.

          • Anonymous

            Yes games, TWO. Against Torrey Smith, a guy who NE didn’t even feel was worth putting Revis on, with now benched Kaepernick at QB. Then a much more impressive game against Dez, with the caveat that the QB was not Romo. It was a guy that couldn’t beat out Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel.

            What Sherman is doing now is what Revis has done for his entire career. And still doing more consistently than anyone.

            Sherman also said a couple years ago “we don’t switch sides because it’s disrespectful to our other corners”. So is it disrespectful now?

          • TBarnes

            I’ll repeat myself – you do what the scheme calls for. You act like it’s Sherman deciding. We have a new coordinator and I am sure I don’t have to tell you – it’s his choice not Sherman’s. You do what you’re told. I don’t get why people don’t get that. Denigrating Sherman because they’ve just started doing this makes no sense. You also neglect to notice that Sherman handled Green w/ a healthy Dalton as well, so that would be THREE, but whatever. You guys run him down when he doesn’t get these challenges, then downplay his successes when he does get these assignments. Whatever make your boat float. I just point out many people with your opinion have stated time and again he COULDN’T do this. Also – you point out that there were mitigating factors – do you know whether Sherman was 100%? No – you don’t. Really all you know is what you think – and that’s fine, but don’t pretend to be some expert.

            As far a disrespect to the other corner – I shouldn’t have to explain it to you – you heard Sherman’s opinion – he’s certainly not short on opinions – but again – not his choice – it is a team game.

          • Anonymous

            Look it is impressive and it might seem like a downplay, but it only seems that way because you’re comparing elite vs elite. See my post below. Revis has done this week-in, week-out, season-in, season-out for 8 of 9 years of his career. That is why it looks like a downplay. Because it is “only” 2.5 games in comparison to 8 seasons. And again, statistically speaking, this is still the worst of Sherman’s career.

            The argument I have been making wasn’t that Sherman couldn’t do it (maybe plenty of other people did), it’s that we didn’t know if he could (he’s proving that he can for now); but when people were comparing all the statistical greatness he was having, we wanted that to be put into context. Now that the job description is harder for him: less picks, less PD’s, more TD’s given up, more penalties. Again, relative to comparison against other elite guys. He’s not some bum, he’s a great player. But he’s not the best in league because he had 2.5 good games in a new role as the writer of this article suggests. That title is still Revis’s.

          • TBarnes

            I think this whole exercise only highlights that comparing like this makes no sense. In golf, singles tennis, chess – yes. In cornerbacks – no. The scheme, surrounding players, opposing players, referees, injuries, recoveries, etc all affect their performance. Any comparison is about as subjective as it gets. I agree – they are both great players. I am glad Sherman plays for my team.

            Personally, I’ve never ranked these two players – I respect them both. But I will say Revis gets no extra points from me for playing to his coordinators scheme, while Sherman gets no points subtracted for doing the same. I merely point out that many have said Sherman couldn’t do this – and now he has and did well so those folks need to rethink things a bit.

          • Anonymous

            Many are not me, I never personally said he couldn’t. Just that he hadn’t. And he’s doing it now (for now), but I for one would like to see it done consistently before putting him on Revis’s level.

            And yes, you can only run the plays that are called but there is a reason why man coverage is considered the more difficult of the two schemes. And yes it is difficult to compare but at least if two players have the same role it’s a little bit more apples to apples.

          • TBarnes

            I’ll point out the obvious – no one can tell what you’ve said or didn’t say given you don’t sign your name or at least an alias.

          • disqus_G7NcbXZXTC

            “Yes games, TWO.”

            Seattle also moved Sherman to follow Cincy’s A.J. Green after Williams was getting beat horribly (including a 72 yard TD that was negated by a penalty), and Sherman held him to 34 yards on 3 catches once he started following him almost exclusively after the first quarter. So, I’d say that’s a third game.

            Sherman also held Dez last season, with a healthy Romo (and a healthy Dez) to 2 catches for 39 yards. An injury to the opposing corner forced Sherman to follow Dez almost exclusively, lining up against him 48 times. Bryant ended up with 2-6, 39 yards, no YAC, 0 TDs.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry. TWO (AND A HALF) games.

            Also, he did do a great job on Dez. 2 Catches for 40 yards in 2 quarters, I had it on 5 targets but okay 6. And 2 of the 3 total penalties he was called for the entire season for another 30+ yards. Like I’ve been saying, the tracking of receivers, especially the best ones is clearly a much more difficult job. Which is why even though Sherman is now playing very well (not so earlier this season), it’s still the worst statistical season of his career.

            It is why when everyone was talking about “well look at all those turnovers he creates that Revis doesn’t” I was saying look at the job description of each and take it into context. Maybe people are seeing why now. Playing great the last 3 games. Zero turnovers. Worst passer rating allowed. Most penalties.

          • saroeup tuy

            Who’s derek carr?

          • saroeup tuy

            Let’s just hope your not talking about the Raiders qb or else you’ll going to lose all credentials by talking about any players from the raiders. I didn’t read your comment after the first sentence stating carr so if your a hawks fan I apologize for being ignorant but if your not a hawks fan then only thing I can say is seahawks we the best!

          • Anonymous

            LOL. Carr is the dude that just threw 8 TD’s in the past 2 games, one of the games being against a Jets team that up until 2 weeks ago had the least pass yards against in the NFL.

            He’s also the dude 5th best passer rating in the NFL. This ain’t your daddy’s Raiders.

          • Mike Riley

            Let’s hope you’re not talking about the raiders? What are you talking about exactly?

          • Josh

            Wins argument^^^
            Go Hawks

          • TBarnes

            And it came off a shutdown performance the week before against T Smith in the same role. I’d say his play is on the incline despite the criticism leveled by some.

    • Derek

      It was just because the ball was overthrown. It’s because sherm located the ball before making
      up the ground on Bryant. And the rest of the day he was step for step with him except on one other occasion and it was a hitch route the Bryant got some seperation on. Allowing 12 yards to fez on any capacity is pretty shutdown esq

  • saroeup tuy


  • Jonathan Bennett

    In defense of Sherman’s earlier play, there have been several times this season where the QB made an excellent throw (St. Louis and Carolina games) or he ended up being forced to do more than necessary as a result of the d-line being unable to sack the QB (the GB game, with the long PI on the free play and the TD on the free-play to Jones.) Cary Williams, on the other hand, gets flat-out beat off the line of scrimmage a lot and has been fortunate to not give up more yards than he already has, having been bailed out by inaccurate deep throws on several occasions.

    • ersander

      Man Foles throw in that STL game was incredible, i was actually really annoyed watching them play the following weeks and see him miss on many of those since lol.

      • Jonathan Bennett

        Those throws require anticipation, a trait which Foles usually lacks unfortunately (with the previously mentioned throw being a rare example to the contrary.) It’s good that the Rams have Gurley now, since it gives Foles opportunities for easy throws and makes it harder for teams to exploit his negative tendencies (erratic ball placement and difficulties with processing information quickly.)

      • Jonathan Bennett

        One of those rare occasions where Foles actually showed anticipation, since his biggest limitation as a passer is usually an inability to process information on time. With teams still being pretty cautious about targeting Sherman, it seems like QBs often end up saving their best plays for him. Still, Sherman’s worst days don’t even come close to Haden or Patrick Peterson at their worst.

  • FuryPhotog

    Dez who? I don’t want to take anything away from Sherm, but isn’t Dez Bryant about the most highly overrated player in the NFL? Its a little nauseating how conventional wisdom infects NFL analysts and the people who listen to them. The guy is just an average NFL receiver. That’s a pretty elite class of athletes, but he simply does not rise above the pack. I had absolute confidence going into the game that he would be a non-factor, and guess what – he lived up to all my expectations. And that mouth of his . . . give me a break! If I was a Dallas Cowboy, I would be happy to see him on another team – any other team.

  • Bob

    It’s sickening how much Seattle slurping goes on on this site. No wonder why more and more people are starting to not take the grades seriously and start to question them more publicly.

    • Anonymous

      See Sam, I’m not the only one that feels this way.

    • Brandon

      Honestly, there are so few seattle people being talked about. Look through the “best players of week” articles. There are maybe 1-2 a week on a good week. Despite Bennett and Avril being largely monstrous to deal with they rarely get any special attention. The site seems to try and go out of its way to talk about players that are playing up, rather than playing down. Just because you dont like the seahawks doesnt really mean they arent performing insanely well.

      Sherman literally allows 1 completion to a top 5 WR and people act like the guy is being biased when he grades him high. You might not like the seahawks, but you are letting your bias show. If that had been a guy on your team you would have slurped him twice as hard for shutting down dez.

      • Bob

        No this site makes it a habit to openly go out of there way to big up the Sea hawks. I remember they tried to sit here and point out the Cardinals opponents being weak then 2 paragraphs later say Seattle was ” back to dominance” because of a dominating performance………against the Bears.

        The guy got burned on a play by Dez and the writer wants to give him credit for the deflection on an underthrown pass. Like completely ignore you got beat off the line and it’s 6 if Romo is there let’s point out that he tipped the pass.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you.

    • Griffonian

      Wow, one of the most talented rosters in the league, and the most successful team over the last few years gets talked about? For shame!

    • AZdove

      Best time in the league since 2012 and Russell always had weird lower grades even after good games. Don’t think it’s too much slurping.

      • Bob

        He’s a game manager on a team built on a running game of course he’s not going to grade well

        • AZdove

          game manager……aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha.

  • jake

    Man he killed it against a team with a WR coming back from a broken foot and a QB that wasnt even on the squad a month ago GG

    • TBarnes

      Oh and how about Smith the week before and Green the week before? Face it you’ve got no point.

      • jake

        Smith who? Torrey Smith? the 65th graded receiver with a 69.2 Grade? A.J was given a (+2.6) grade for the Seahawks game so I’m not quite sure what your talking about….

        • TBarnes

          Sherman covered Green when not in the slot – he had only two short completions on Sherman is what the analyst quoted. The remainder of his yds/catches weren’t against Sherman so now you know. Couple that with no catches for Smith (who was supposed to energize the SF offense if you can believe their training camp propaganda) and one short catch and one catch for a loss against Sherman for Dez – that’s a pretty decent sample with pretty decent results.

  • Ruined

    Wow, Sherman shut-down an injured wr who had a 3rd string QB throwing to him. Sherman is so amazing. Deion Sanders looks up the all-world Richard Sherman.