When the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks do battle in Seattle Sunday, there is one matchup almost everyone will be watching. Antonio Brown vs. Richard Sherman. If you weren't planning on watching the two players who are arguably the best at their position go head-to-head for 4 quarters, then you must not like to watch incredible football players in a rare one-on-one battle like me.
The Seahawks have said Sherman isn't guaranteed to shadow Brown on the football field, but could see time against Martavis Bryant as well as Brown, depending on the formation and personnel groupings on the field. To me, I say the more the merrier. I look forward to watching the Pittsburgh WRs go against the best the Seahawks, and possibly the NFL, have to offer.
After all, take a look at what Sherman has done against some of the NFL's other elite receivers:
Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb, Week 2: Eight catches for 116 yards.
Detroit Lions, Calvin Johnson, Week 4: Seven catches for 56 yards
Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green, Week 5: Six catches for 78 yards
Dallas Cowboys, Dez Bryant, Week 8: Two catches for 12 yards
Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald, Week 10: 10 catches for 130 yards
It isn't like Sherman is invincible. After all, he has given up yardage throughout the season, but he has yet to face a receiver like Brown. Brown's route running is unparalleled in the NFL, and his speed in and out of his breaks makes him a threat to take a 5-yard slant the distance for a touchdown, just ask the Cleveland Browns as they watched him flip into the endzone.
The difficult task for Sherman would be to switch on-and-off from Brown to Bryant. They both encompass such a different skill set, it could likely be a hindrance for the All Pro cornerback. Brown's quick burst, then transitioning to the tall and fast deep threat in Bryant. Not an easy transition for even the best defensive back, but what do the Steelers think about this upcoming matchup? Ben Roethlisberger isn't going to shy away from whomever Sherman is covering.
"You have to respect a player like him, respect what he's done, respect how good he is," Roethlisberger told Jason Mackey of DKonPittsburghSports.com of Sherman. "But if you go into the game and he follows Antonio, are you saying you're not going to throw it to your No. 1 receiver all day? You have to count on your guy to win the matchup."
Roethlisberger trusts Brown to win one-on-one matchups almost more than any other quarterback looks at one specific receiver. The connection between the signal caller and the receiver are on the next level, almost on another worldly level when things break down.
When it comes to the game within the game, all eyes will be on Sherman vs. Brown and Bryant, and I have a feeling this matchup won't disappoint. As Terrell Owens once poetically said, "Get your popcorn ready!". I would echo that sentiment for both Seattle and Pittsburgh fans, as this matchup will be well worth the price of admission.