Eliot Crist of Pro Football Focus released his breakdown of the NFL’s best corners versus various route types. The stats included basic go-routes, double moves, slants, crossing patterns, and post and corners, as well as info on the types of defensive schemes implemented (Cover 0, Cover 2, Cover 3, etc.).
Among the corners who excelled the most at defending post and corner routes (minimum six targets) is none other than Richard Sherman. He didn’t take top spot honors, which belonged to Xavier Rhodes of the Minnesota Vikings, but he more than lived up to his lockdown corner billing.
Quarterbacks didn’t have much more success targeting Sherman than they did Rhodes in 2016. On six targets, Sherman gave up one completion, picked off two passes, and earned a QB rating against of 6.3 (third-best). Sherman faced three post or corner routes in cover-3, and three in cover-1. Both interceptions came while in cover 3, but so did his one allowed completion to the Arizona Cardinals. On that single completion allowed, he was in coverage for 3.3 seconds before Carson Palmer targeted tight end Ifeanyi Momah. No QB completed a pass versus Sherman on these post and corner routes when he was in man coverage, though he did get away with a likely pass interference penalty versus Julio Jones to seal the game versus the Falcons.
Momah had two catches in the 6-6 tie with the Seattle Seahawks back in October, so having re-watched the game, I’m 100% certain that PFF has deemed this play as a completion allowed by Sherman, who peeled off of a route run by Michael Floyd and provided late cover for the trailing Bobby Wagner.
Other than that (and the DPI no-call against Julio, which should’ve been offset by Jones committing illegal hands to the face), Sherman was essentially perfect on the post and corner patterns, which is just a small part of another fine season for one of the best defenders in the NFL.