It’s Sir Richard Sherman To You
This development is critical to the Seahawks playoff hopes for multiple reasons.
Between Richard Sherman and opposite cornerback Brandon Browner, Seattle has a pair of big, athletic corners who aren’t afraid to challenge receivers and play physicaly. A stud pair of safeties in Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas certainly helps them play more aggressively, as does the Seahawks’ pass rush, but the twin towers are two of the biggest reasons Seattle is in the conversation for best defense of the league.
When the news broke of failed drug tests, the Seattle faithful were gloomy at the prospect of losing both starting cornerbacks simultaneously. Brandon Browner dropped his appeal and served his four-game suspension, but Sherman fought it and won.
Apparently, the NFL mishandled the sample and there were errors in the chain of custody. Supposedly when Sherman gave the original sample, the cup was leaking, and and a second cup had to be used.
This constitutes a violation of league policy, and Sherman and his lawyer were able to get the sample thrown out on that technicality.
Sherman has accumulated seven interceptions and three forced fumbles on the season, but his impact on the team goes beyond measured statistics.
The 6’3” 195 pound Stanford product has developed into one of the league’s best corners in only his second year.
Sherman can shut down another team’s No. 1 receiver and is truly only threatened by elite wide outs. His dominating performances against the Niners (highlighted by a pick and blocked field goal returned for a touchdown) put the cap on lockdown season.
The only reason Sherman isn’t starting in the Pro Bowl is that at the time of voting, his PED allegations were still floating around.
Beyond a stud pair of starters, Seattle’s cornerback depth is a question mark. Second string cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond have had nagging injuries all year, and beyond them the team has little experience at cornerback.
Browner will return for the playoffs, but if Sherman’s suspension had gone through, opposing teams could have thrown at Seattle much more freely.
With Sherman playing, Seattle’s stud cornerback duo is reunited, and opposing offensive coordinators will have that much harder of a time finding prospects in the air.
Having Sherman back changes the Seahawks secondary from pretty good to elite, and in today’s pass heavy league, in the pass heavy playoffs, elite is what it will need to be to give Seattle a chance.