Despite Super Bowl Performance, Sherman Was Solid

For most of the Super Bowl, 49ers’ cornerback Richard Sherman was very good. He gave up a few catches, but for very few yards.

But, late in the game, Sherman gave up a 38-yard completion to Sammy Watkins that set up a touchdown to give Kansas City a lead it would keep en route to a 31-20 comeback victory over San Francisco.

And, by the end of the game, Sherman’s stats looked ugly. He was targeted five times, according to the analytic website Pro Football Focus, and gave up five completions for 72 yards.

The person most disappointed by Sherman’s play, and the outcome, was Sherman.

“I wasn’t good enough tonight,” he told reporters after the game.

But Sherman’s disappointing play late in the Super Bowl didn’t reflect the quality of his play for the entire 2019 season.

Sherman, 31, played 15 regular-season games, had three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 11 passes defensed and was in on 61 tackles. Then, in three postseason games, he added two more interceptions, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. He was selected to the All-Pro team (second team) and the Pro Bowl for the fifth time (and first since 2016 with Seattle).

Sherman, who completed his second season of a three-year deal with the 49ers, was fully healthy for the first time in several seasons and proved he’s still among the NFL’s top corners. He goes into 2020 due to make $8 million and be San Francisco’s No. 1 corner.

How good was Sherman in 2019? According to Pro Football Focus, he was No. 2 among all NFL cornerbacks in passer rating allowed, at just 45.3. He was targeted 51 times and gave up just 27 catches.

Sherman also ranked third in the NFL in yards allowed per coverage snap, at just 0.58 yards. In combined regular-season and postseason games, Sherman played 642 coverage snaps and gave up 34 catches on 61 targets, with five interceptions. He gave up 373 yards and just one TD.

As the 49ers work toward what they hope is a productive offseason, there are many questions about the team’s secondary. But Sherman – even after a long career – remains a terrific cornerback.

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