Richard Sherman versus Darrelle Revis is not a rivalry yet. How could it be? The two have never even
That hasn't stopped Sherman from taking to Twitter to proudly make a case that he is the best cornerback in the NFL.
The debate over who is better largely began as a result of a tweet Sherman sent out in late January, comparing Sherman's stats to Revis'.
Richard Sherman @RSherman_25
"Women lie, men lie, numbers don't lie" http://t.co/nAOVwQsP2013-1-25 03:18:53
Numbers don't lie, but they also don't tell the whole truth. So, who truly is the better cornerback?
To debate the topic, we welcome in Bleacher Report NFC West lead writer Tyson Langland. Take it away!
Erik, I appreciate you including me. However, your readers may not be as thrilled, because when it comes to this debate I have a hard time disagreeing with what Sherman said. Numbers don't lie and this year's numbers from No. 25 are some of the best posted by a cornerback EVER.
Opposing quarterbacks only completed 44.4 percent of their passes when throwing in his direction, he secured eight interceptions and had a quarterback rating against of 44.9. Absolutely absurd is the only way to describe his 2012 campaign.
Hey Revis, get ya picks up!
I'd be an idiot to contend Sherman didn't have a stellar 2012. Was it up to Revis' standard, though? The numbers say no.
The numbers you referenced from Sherman's 2012 campaign are impressive, but they don't hold a candle to Revis' 2009 campaign. It was his best year, and arguably one of the best ever by a cornerback with Revis allowing completions on 36.9 percent of targets and an absurd 32.3 passer rating.
Revis' numbers have come back down to earth a bit, but isn't that to be expected? And that's just the point with Sherman: Ultimately, this debate exposes Sherman's supporters as prisoners of the moment. Revis has been doing his thing for years on end. Let's wait to see Sherman pull it off for more than just one year before anointing him the best cornerback in the league. Nobody was arguing Cam Newton was in Tom Brady's league in 2011.
Come on Erik, we all know that the NFL is all about "What have you done for me lately?" And what has Revis done for me lately? Nothing. His numbers from both 2010 and 2011 compare to Sherman's in one statistical category: Completion percentage. That's it.
But if I must comply with you and go back in time, let's do it like this. Sherman has only played in 30 career games (regular season and playoffs), so take those 30 appearances and stack them against any two seasons in which Revis played all 16 games.
Through 30 games, Sherman has allowed a completion 45.4 percent of the time, opposing quarterbacks have a rating of 51.1, he has 12 interceptions and 27 passes defended. Give me a 30-game stretch in which Revis has put up better numbers.
Okay, you asked for it:
Revis played 30 games from Week 1 of 2009 thru Week 14 of 2010. He played three playoff games in '09 and missed two games due to injury in '10. Revis allowed 67 completions on 177 targets (37.9 percent) with 33 passes defended and eight interceptions. His passer rating against was 43.7, seven-plus points better than Sherman's.
Sherman may have more interceptions in his 30-game stretch—believe me, he won't let anyone forget that—but are interceptions the best and only metric?
Since Sherman is so intent on basing the argument on interceptions, is he going to argue he's better than Deion Sanders, who never had more than six picks in a season? Is he trying to argue Kyle Arrington (league-leading seven interceptions in 2011) is better than Revis, and nearly Sherman's equal?
Don't think so.
As Tyson's argument illustrates, Sherman has reached those heights in only his second year in the NFL, while it took Revis a little bit before he got completely situated.
On the other hand, Revis' career best so far is better than Sherman's career best so far.
With that, though, it seems Tyson and I have to agree to disagree.
In my mind, Sherman certainly has the potential to be as good as Revis. He also plays on a great defense with a stellar pass rush, so that should help him reach those heights. I would just like to see it for more than one year before anointing him the best.
What do you, the readers, think? Cast a vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments.
Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained first-hand or via team press releases. All stats via Pro Football Focus.