Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
By now, you've seen Richard Sherman's controversial postgame interview from last week. It isn't the first time Sherman has caused an uproar, and it is highly unlikely that it will be the last time.
Sherman is loud. He is aggressive. He is also very good.
Sherman was the least-targeted cornerback in the NFL this season, and he also led the league in interceptions. Sherman has become the most dominant performer at his position in the NFL, which is why he's now a two-time All-Pro.
Byron Maxwell has been a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks this season. The job opposite Sherman was supposed to be held down by Brandon Browner, but Browner was hurt and then later suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Maxwell stepped into the lineup and exceeded all expectations. Maxwell has put together a string of games in which his stats have been very similar to Sherman's.
According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), opposing QBs have a passer rating of 47.3 when targeting Sherman and 47.8 when targeting Maxwell. Those are first and second in the NFL for players who played at least 25 percent of a team's defensive snaps at cornerback.
Nickel and Dime Backs
The Seahawks have mixed and matched which of their other cornerbacks play in nickel situations over the past few weeks based on matchups. Jeremy Lane is the larger and more physical of the options, while Walter Thurmond is the smaller and quicker of the two.
Thurmond started the season as the team's primary nickel corner, and he even started opposite Sherman early in the season when Browner missed time due to injury.
When Thurmond was suspended for four games late in the season, Lane stepped in and performed well enough that Thurmond hasn't been able to reclaim all of his playing time.