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Reliving Richard Sherman's 28 Career Picks On His 28th Birthday
Andy Dalton, Rex Grossman, Josh McCown, John Skelton, Sam Bradford, Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick, Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kellen Clemens, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Derek Carr, Ryan Lindley, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Jimmy Clausen.
That’s the not-so-short list of quarterbacks Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has picked off over the past five years, some - Skelton, Kaepernick - more than others.
There’s 19 of them in all, and they’ve contributed 28 interceptions - regular season (26, the most since 2011) and postseason (2) combined - to Sherman’s Pro Bowl and All-Pro career.
In honor of the Seahawks’ shutdown corner turning 28 years old today, March 30, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at each of Sherman’s 28 career picks. Let’s dive in: Read
Pick No. 1 - Oct. 30, 2011: Following season-ending injuries to Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond, Sherman is thrust into the starting lineup for the first time his rookie year. In a Week 8 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sherman saw first-team reps at left cornerback, the position he’s played ever since. His first career interception came that afternoon, when Sherman snagged a third-quarter Andy Dalton pass on a deep ball intended for then-rookie wideout A.J. Green, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 draft. “He had to earn it,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said this past year of Sherman securing the starting job. "Just like everybody else he had to earn it, he competed and battled for it, and the rest is history.”
Pick No. 2 - Nov. 27, 2011: In a Week 12 game against Washington, Sherman took hold of a third quarter pass over the deep middle of the field from Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman on a ball intended for star wideout Santana Moss.
Pick No. 3 - Dec. 18, 2011: The Seahawks recorded four interceptions in a 38-14 win over the Chicago Bears, two of which were returned for touchdowns, one a 42-yard score by cornerback Brandon Browner and the other a 20-yard rumble by defensive end Red Bryant. Sherman’s pick came late in the game off backup quarterback Josh McCown, who took over after starter Caleb Hanie threw his third pick.
Pick No. 4 - Jan. 1, 2012: In Seattle’s 23-20 season-ending overtime loss to Arizona, Sherman capped his rookie campaign by snatching his fourth career pick, this one coming off Cardinals quarterback John Skelton early in the fourth quarter. Sherman returned it 33 yards to help set up a 26-yard field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka, cutting into Arizona’s lead, 20-13, and eventually helping to push the game into extra time. Read
Pick No. 5 - Sept. 9, 2012: Sherman started the new season by picking up where he left off the year prior, again plucking the ball away from Arizona quarterback John Skelton, who saw Sherman take advantage of a short pass intended for Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Pick No. 6 - Sept. 30, 2012: In a Week 4 road game against the Rams, Sherman stopped a promising St. Louis drive at Seattle’s 13-yard-line by picking off a Sam Bradford pass intended for former Washington State Cougars standout Brandon Gibson. Sherman returned the interception 29 yards.
Pick No. 7 - Oct. 14, 2012: U mad bro? That was Sherman’s postgame statement directed at New England quarterback Tom Brady, who Sherman picked off in the third quarter of a thrilling 24-23 Seahawks win over the Patriots at CenturyLink Field. Sherman’s interception came on a third-quarter deep ball intended for former Seattle wideout Deion Branch. The pick, Sherman’s third of the season, ended Brady’s streak of 179 pass attempts without an interception.
Pick No. 8 - Nov. 11, 2012: Sherman earned his first-ever NFC Defensive Player of the Week award in a 28-7 win over the New York Jets after having his way with quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sherman baited the former USC signal caller into a third-and-goal pass for tight end Dustin Keller and hauled in his fourth interception of the year in the process. Sherman also had his first career sack and forced a Sanchez fumble in the game’s fourth quarter, helping Seattle set up its final touchdown of the day.
Picks No. 9 & 10 - Dec. 9, 2012: In a 58-0 rout of the visiting Arizona Cardinals, Sherman had the first multi-interception game of his career, one of which he returned for his first career touchdown. Quarterback John Skelton was once again the victim, as Sherman took a second-quarter pick back 19 yards for a score before adding another interception of Skelton just before halftime. To this point, four of Sherman’s 10 career interceptions had come against Skelton.
Pick No. 11 - Dec. 23, 2012: On the first play of the fourth quarter in an eventual 42-13 Seattle win over San Francisco, Sherman stepped in front of a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Randy Moss at the back of the end zone for his seventh interception of the year. The Seattle corner also recovered a Red Bryant-blocked field goal and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter.
Pick No. 12 - Dec. 30, 2012: Sherman’s eighth and final interception of 2012 helped the Seahawks secure their fifth straight win, as the Seattle cornerback stepped in front of a fourth-and-10 throw from Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to give the ball back to Seattle with a half-minute to play. The Seahawks ran out the clock to 20-13 victory. Read
Pick No. 13 - Sept. 15, 2013: Sherman’s first pick of the 2013 season came against a familiar foe in Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, as he intercepted a deep ball intended for tight end Vernon Davis, returned it 28 yards, and celebrated by dancing with the Sea Gals cheer squad. But more impressive than Sherman’s pick - and dance - was his defense of Anquan Boldin. The San Francisco wideout had 13 catches for 208 yards in the Niners’ season opener, but in Week 2 against Seattle with Sherman in coverage most of the day, Boldin was limited to one catch for seven yards. "I asked coach for the challenge," Sherman said. "I wanted to follow him.” The Seahawks won the game, 29-3, and Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Pick No. 14 - Sept. 29, 2013: Sherman was again a central figure in a fourth consecutive Seahawks win, this one coming against the Texans in Houston, where Sherman jumped a fourth-quarter route by tight end Owen Daniels to pick off a Matt Schaub pass and return it 58 yards - with just one shoe - for an overtime-forcing touchdown. Kicker Steven Hauschka booted a 45-yard field goal in the extra period to give Seattle a 23-20 win after the Seahawks started the game down 20-3. "It's a high-risk, high-reward play,” said Sherman. "You have to jump in, and you might get beat over the top for a 20- or 30-yard gain if he gets the ball down there. But if you make the play, you might get a pick-6 and change the game for your team.”
Pick No. 15 - Oct. 13, 2013: Sherman’s third pick of 2013 came against the Tennessee Titans in Week 6, when he held his ground on a double-move by wide receiver Nate Washington and intercepted a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass. The Seahawks put up seven points off Sherman’s fourth-quarter turnover, extending their lead to 20-10 and holding on for a 20-13 win, their fifth of the season.
Pick No. 16 - Oct. 28, 2013: Sherman’s fourth interception of the year put the Seahawks in business against the St. Louis Rams in Week 8, when he returned a second-quarter pick 38 yards to help set up a 26-yard touchdown drive that put the Seahawks on top, 7-3. The Seahawks added another touchdown late in the third quarter to come away with a 14-9 win on Monday Night Football.
Picks No. 17 & 18 - Dec. 15, 2013: Sherman waited six weeks before recording his next pick, but he and the Seahawks were rewarded in bunches against the New York Giants, as Eli Manning tossed a career-worst five interceptions in a 23-0 Seahawks shutout victory at MetLife Stadium, the same venue where Seattle would be crowned Super Bowl XLVIII champions later that season. Sherman had two of Seattle’s five picks that day and was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for the third time in his career.
Picks No. 19 & 20 - Dec. 22, 2013: Sherman followed up his two-pick performance in Week 15 against Eli Manning's Giants with a two-pick performance against Carson Palmer’s Cardinals. The Seahawks cornerback finished the regular-season with eight interceptions for a second consecutive year. Read
Pick No. 21 - Nov. 2, 2014: With 20 picks through his first three NFL seasons, teams started to shy away from Sherman’s side of the field, and the Seahawks cornerback had to wait nearly one full year between interceptions before coming up with one against Derek Carr in a 30-24 Week 9 win over the Oakland Raiders. "There hasn't been a year yet I haven't got one," Sherman said. "I knew eventually; if you're out there long enough and you're in position and you're playing the game the way you are supposed to, the football Gods will get what you need.”
Picks No. 22 & 23 - Nov. 27, 2014: Sherman’s fourth double-interception game of his career came in a 19-3 Week 13 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Thanksgiving Night. His first-quarter pick of Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick helped set up the only touchdown of the game, while his second stalled a fourth-quarter San Francisco drive and allowed Seattle to run out much of the time remaining in regulation. The fourth two-pick game of Sherman’s career led to his fourth NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor. "I told their sideline if they threw it my way I'd end the game,” said Sherman, who triumphantly touted a Thanksgiving turkey over his head on his way back to the Seattle locker room.
Pick No. 24 - Dec. 21, 2014: The Seahawks offense was the story this night, as the unit put up a franchise-record 596 yards in a 35-6 win over the Cardinals. But Sherman still managed to make his mark, picking off a fourth quarter pass from Arizona quarterback Ryan Lindley and returning it 53 yards to help set up his team’s last score.
Pick No. 25 - Jan. 10, 2015: The first postseason pick of Sherman’s career came in a divisional round matchup with the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field, where Sherman got hold of a deep ball from quarterback Cam Newton. A fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown by strong safety Kam Chancellor sealed a 31-17 win for Seattle.
Pick No. 26 - Jan. 18, 2015: Sherman's presence was felt early in a 28-22 NFC Championship win that will widely be remembered as one of the Seahawks’ greatest comebacks in franchise history, picking off Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the Seattle end zone on the Packers’ opening possession. Sherman injured his left elbow during the game, but played through the pain. Read
Pick No. 27 - Nov. 29, 2015: The Seahawks intercepted Ben Roethlisberger twice in a 39-30 shootout victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, including Sherman’s very first pick of the season. The Seattle corner stuck to Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown most of the game, holding Brown to six catches for 51 yards.
Pick No. 28 - Dec. 13, 2015: Sherman’s 28th and final pick to date came in a 35-6 Week 14 road win against the Baltimore Ravens. The now 28-year-old cornerback intercepted a Jimmy Clausen pass intended for former Seahawk wideout Chris Matthews, who tackled Sherman by his dreads on the play. “It didn’t feel great,” Sherman said, via the Seattle Times. “It did not feel great.”Read