Richard Sherman or Patrick Peterson? Who is the Best Cornerback?

Richard ShermanThe football season is quickly approaching us, and football debates are brewing amongst all fans. An ongoing debate that seems to keep coming up is: who is the best corner in the game?

Patrick Peterson photo by Trish Scott

After the memorable deflection Richard Sherman had against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFS championship game, Sherman noted he is the best at his job. On the other hand during the offseason Arizona Cardinals corner, Patrick Peterson called out Sherman and he responded with stats.

So who really is the best corner in the game out of these two? If we go by stats, clearly Sherman had the edge over Peterson since the 2012 season. Since 2012 Peterson has allowed a higher completion percentage (53 percent to Sherman’s 43 percent). Also has a much higher touchdown percentage (7 percent to 2.8 percent). Sherman leads the interception category with 1 percent to Peterson’s 5.4 percent.

So why would Peterson make this statement that he is better than Sherman? Peterson said in an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 in phoenix, that he does more than Sherman.

“I actually do much more than he is … Obviously, his job is definitely much easier than mine. If you look at their scheme and look at our scheme, he’s a Cover 3 corner. Period.”

“I believe if you put him in our system, I don’t think he’d be able to last, honestly, because I’m asked to do much more than he is.”

Peterson is more of a man-to-man coverage player. Which means he has to run all over the field with a specific player. Peterson also returns punts and has returned four of them back for touchdowns. The longest being a 99-yard punt return in overtime in 2011, to win the game.

With Peterson playing more man-to-man, and Sherman in a cover 3 scheme, Quarterbacks don’t throw at Peterson as much because he is a lock down defender. Sherman covers space rather than a specific player, so when the ball is thrown his way he picks up the nearest player.

So lets dissect each player 2013 season. Peterson played all sixteen games and had a total of three interceptions and 40 tackles. Now with the way Peterson was talking you would think that he would have been blowing Sherman out of the water with stats. But that is not the case. Sherman stats are far more impressive than Peterson’s. Sherman led the league with eight interceptions and also had 38 tackles. He had one interception returned for a touchdown against the Houston Texans.

Sherman is now known as the guy who had the very vocal interview after the NFC Championship game.

Since entering the NFL in 2011, Sherman has recorded 20 interceptions, 59 passes defended and 176 combined tackles. Peterson on the other hand has recorded only 12 interceptions, 161 combined totals and 42 passes defended. So clearly Sherman is the better player here. During the offseason Sherman signed a four-year contract extension that briefly made him the highest-paid cornerback in the league. The contract was worth $57.4 million with $40 million guaranteed.

Peterson has two more years in his rookie contract, but he thinks he deserves more money than Sherman. But Sherman said he needs to work harder.

Even though numbers don’t lie, and the stats prove Sherman is better; Peterson has a bit more of an edge being a man-to-man corner.

Statistics show that Sherman is a better cornerback on the field. And with the contract extension he received, it further proves that Sherman may actually be the top cornerback in the league right now. But what they are not showing is the man coverage that Peterson is doing, and that he is not targeted as much because of his coverage. The 2014 season will be a competition amongst these two and it definitely will be a show.

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