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The Film Room: Brandon Marshall beat Richard Sherman on Sunday ... Barely

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Seattle Seahawks v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Edit: If the video does not display, you have to click the “Watch on YouTube” button or follow this link here.

Two All-Pro players, Richard Sherman and Brandon Marshall, squared off in MetLife Stadium this past Sunday. Sherman, who covered Marshall for the vast majority of the game, was used in both man coverage as well as in the Seahawks’ Cover 3 defense as the outside cornerback. In this video breakdown, I tracked all 12 targets Ryan Fitzpatrick threw to Brandon Marshall and also looked at some plays where Sherman was in coverage, but not targeted.

Here is a table breaking down the targets.

Richard Sherman Brandon Marshall Stats - Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold)
Richard Sherman Brandon Marshall Stats - Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold)

As you can see in the video breakdown, Brandon Marshall clearly beat Richard Sherman in the first half gaining 72 of his 89 yards and his touchdown. The second half was the opposite, however, as Sherman held Marshall to a single catch on six targets. The sole catch was on the confusing defensive pass interference penalty that befuddled many.

This was by far the closest match I have ever tracked, and I can make a legitimate argument for either side:

Richard Sherman

  1. Allowed 7.4 ypa on 12 passes allowing only 4 completions
  2. The two interceptions, while not caused by Brandon Marshall, set up a touchdown for the offense and sealed the victory
  3. Completely shut down Marshall in the second half

Brandon Marshall

  1. Gained 89 yards and a touchdown on the day
  2. Clearly beat Sherman on three of the four completions
  3. Marshall kept the game close due to his touchdown at the end of the half

While the NFL does allow ties, much to the chagrin of Donovan McNabb, these breakdowns arbitrarily do not. So based on the above, I ultimately gave the win to Marshall even though it was ridiculously close and I can truthfully see arguments for both sides.

The New York Jets play the 3-1 Steelers, while the Seahawks have a Bye after starting the season 3-1. In Week 6, the red hot Falcons led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones travel to CenturyLink, which should yield a very interesting match-up between Jones and Sherman.