Tale of the Tape: Revis v Sherman

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By Samuel M. Smith

Super Bowl XLIX is filled with many intriguing storylines. There is Deflate-Gate, Pete Carroll’s revenge, and “U Mad Bro?” However, the most intriguing is the Battle of the Cornerbacks.

In February of 2013, Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, and then New York Jets cornerback, Darrelle Revis, went back and forth on Twitter to determine who the better player was.

 

revis-2 Screen-Shot-2013-02-20-at-6.00.27-PM Screen-Shot-2013-02-20-at-6.00.42-PM

Revis, now a member of the New England Patriots, and Sherman will have the opportunity to play for the Super Bowl. Two years later, however, the debate still exists. So who was the better corner this season? Let’s take a look at the numbers. 

Case No. 1:

Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots

Darrelle Revis, or Revis Island as he is affectionately known, has been a model of consistency for since being drafted in 2007. This year, his first with the Patriots, Revis regained the form we saw before his ACL injury in 2012.

The four time All-Pro is known for his ability to shadow opposing team’s best receiver. This season, he showed why he is called Revis Island.

In 16 regular season games, he was targeted 78 times and allowed 37 receptions for 532 yards. Quarterbacks completed only 47.8-percent of their passes when throwing towards Revis, and he intercepted two passes while allowing two touchdowns.

Richard Sherman also impressed with his play this year. The outspoken Seattle corner once again proved why he is among the NFL’s elite.

Case No. 2:

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

Richard Sherman also impressed with his play this year. The outspoken Seattle corner once again proved why he is among the NFL’s elite.

According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman allowed a 47.1 completion percentage. Including the one playoff game against the Carolina Panthers, Sherman allowed 33 receptions for 467 yards on 70 targets. In that 17 game span, Sherman caught five interceptions and only gave up one touchdown.

The argument for Revis has always been that he takes away the best receiver. While you can certainly make that case, we cannot really blame Sherman for playing in Seattle’s base Cover 3 defense. However, with Seattle defensive backs, Jeremy Lane, Byron Maxwell, and Kam Chancellor, all missing time this year, Sherman was asked to shadow receivers more than he ever had in the past.

For the first four games of the season, Revis was asked to play zone, and he did so admirably. Both showed amazing  versatility this season. For two well-rounded corners with excellent techniques, fluid hips, and superior ball skills, it comes down to the numbers, and the numbers don’t lie.

Verdict:

With less targets, less receptions allowed, less receiving yards allowed, and more interceptions,

Richard Sherman has been the better corner this season.

 

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