By ETHAN GREENBERG
College Contributor Network
The past two seasons, Richard Sherman has been deemed the best cornerback in the NFL. His brash attitude and outbreaks on Twitter brought him to stardom.
It started when Sherman was answering a Q&A on Twitter. He was asked who he thought the best two corners in the league are other than himself. Sherman replied with Brandon Browner and Antonio Cromartie. Raj Chudgar, an innocent tweeter, then asked Sherman about Darrelle Revis, to which he replied, "he didn't play this year so when he does then he will be in it."
Let's just say that Revis did not take that so lightly. TWITTER WAR!
Sherman has been a part of a few more social media incidents but, on the field, Revis blows Sherman out of the water -- even though they are the two best corners in the game.
In 2009, Revis anchored the best defense in the NFL and the number one passing defense with the New York Jets. Similarly in 2014, Sherman anchored the NFL's top defense and passing defense with the Seattle Seahawks. Statistically, the Jets let up fewer passing yards and total yards than the defending Super Bowl Champs -- a defense that has been thrown around with the '85 Bears as the best defense to ever set foot on a field.
Sherman's supporting cast was also a lot better than that of Revis. Sure, the Jets may have had the better scheme and the defensive mastermind, but the talent on the Seahawks is clearly superior. All of these factors are in Revis' favor.
Individually, Sherman has had back-to-back seasons with eight interceptions, better than Revis' six interceptions in 2009, his career-high. Sherman also had the game-winning play in the NFC Championship game when he tipped Colin Kaepernick's throw and Malcolm Smith intercepted it. We all know what happened after that.
What separates them is pure man-to-man coverage ability, a skill Revis best demonstrated back in the 2009 season.
The Jets opened that season against the Houston Texans. Andre Johnson was held to four catches for 35 yards and no touchdowns. When the Jets played the Falcons, Roddy White was held to 33 yards on four receptions.
In the 2009 season, Revis also matched up against Randy Moss (twice), Marques Colston, Steve Smith, Reggie Wayne, and Chad Ochocinco. He only let up 129 receiving yards combined, which comes out to an average of 18 yards. The only time Revis ever got beat deep was against Randy Moss – even then, Moss snagged it with one hand and Revis pulled his hamstring on the play.
Revis has also shown he can perform in the clutch. Chad Ochocinco did not catch a single ball in the final game of the 2009 regular season when the Jets needed to win to clinch a playoff berth. Both teams squared off in the Wild Card Round the next week and Revis shut down Ochocinco again, this time he let up 28 yards on 2 catches. Sorry Chad, it was not a fluke.
Let's also factor in that Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, two of the premier safeties in the league, back up Sherman which allows him to be more aggressive and try to pick off the ball as opposed to defend the pass.
Revis, meanwhile, played with Kerry Rhodes and Jim Leonhard. Rex Ryan would stick Revis on the opposing team's best receiver and give him absolutely no help because every time Revis would hold down the fort. He is the only player that disappears on the screen throughout the game because no one dares to throw to his side.
Richard Sherman is still an elite corner, but there is a significant gap between the talent of the two. Revis was hurt when Sherman officially made a name for himself, but this year, Revis will remind everyone not only why he got the nickname Revis Island but who the best corner in the game really is.
Ethan Greenberg is a junior at Syracuse University majoring in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a minor in Sport Management. He is a die-hard fan for the wrong New York teams -- the Jets and the Mets. Follow him on Twitter: @egreenbergy
By ETHAN GREENBERG