Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Only two corners allowed a lower passer rating when targeted than 49ers’ Richard Sherman

May 25, 2020 at 1:01 PM--

J.C. Jackson of the New England Patriots and Tre'Davious White of the Buffalo Bills. Those are the only two cornerbacks in the NFL last season who, when targeted, allowed a passer rating lower than Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers.

Of course, Sherman's stellar 2019 campaign — the former Seattle Seahawk's second with the 49ers — is nothing new. Earlier this month, Pro Football Focus named two cornerbacks who were targeted 250-or-more times over the past decade and allowed a completion rate of less than 50 percent. They were Sherman and Darrelle Revis.

Sherman earned Pro Football Focus' highest coverage grade (90.5) and highest overall grade (90.3) last season, including the playoffs. He finished his 2019 campaign with 61 tackles, three shy of his career-high, 11 passes defensed, three interceptions, and a score. The corner's interception total was his highest in a single season since 2016.

Sherman was one of four 49ers players, past and present, named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010s. The others are retired players Joe Staley and Patrick Willis, along with Frank Gore of the New York Jets.

San Francisco owned the No. 1 pass defense in the league last season, thanks in part to the play and veteran leadership of Sherman, who is entering the final year of his contract. The cornerback did, however, garner some criticism for his performance in Super Bowl LIV. He hasn't shied away from any responsibility, though.

"I gave up three grabs in that game. ... I could have played better," Sherman said earlier this month. "I need to play better. When you hear them blaming Jimmy (Garoppolo), Jimmy doesn't play defense. We had a 10-point lead. We get the guy a stop, we win the game.

"So those are things you go into the offseason and know you have to correct, and you have to work hard. It pushes you to work hard. It pushes you to fight to do extra reps to make sure that you don't let the mistake happen again."

A motivated Sherman (not that he's not always motivated) entering the final year of his contract could mean big things for San Francisco's defense in 2020.

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