Richard Sherman mans the left side of the 49ers' defensive backs. He doesn't shadow receivers, but when a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line, game plans can change a bit.
Sherman, 31, followed Davante Adams, 27, on occasion but the majority of the cornerback's snaps came on the left side in the 49ers' 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. That includes a 65-yard bomb where Adams spun Sherman around at the line of scrimmage.
That play had Sherman and former star cornerback Darrell Revis chirping on Twitter after the 49ers' win. Sherman is known as more of a zone specialist, though he has proven time and time again that he can cover top receivers when locking up in man-to-man.
The reality is, even in Sherman's ninth season in the NFL, he rarely gets beat deep. In fact, Sunday was the first time all season Sherman allowed a pass of 20-plus yards, according to Next Gen Stats. Entering the NFC title game, QBs were 0-for-7 on such passes against Sherman.
Aaron Rodgers' 65-yard completion to Davante Adams is the first deep completion (20+ air yards) allowed by Richard Sherman as the nearest defender this season.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 20, 2020
Sherman vs Deep (Entering Today): 7 targets, 0 rec allowed#GBvsSF | #GoPackGo pic.twitter.com/ngevG7I3KX
Sherman might not be the fastest cornerback in the league, but he still is one of the game's best. He sealed San Francisco's victory when fittingly, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tried to go deep to Adams again. It didn't work this time.
Sherman finished the night with three tackles, one interception and one pass defensed. According to Pro Football Focus, he now has a career passer rating allowed of just 41.2.
The veteran cornerback has his work cut out for him in the Super Bowl as he lines up against Patrick Mahomes' array of speedy weapons in Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson. If anyone is going to step up in the bright lights in Miami, though, it's Sherman.