The San Francisco 49ers season opener brought with it numerous debuts. One of the most notable was that of cornerback Richard Sherman. The game marked Sherman’s first regular season contest since he tore his Achilles last year. He got preseason work in after an early training camp hamstring injury, but the regular season is a whole different beast.
Sherman played the entire game, getting in the full allotment of 71 snaps opposite Ahkello Witherspoon. He played 64 snaps on the left side of the field (offense’s right side), and Kirk Cousins did not have much success that way. He completed 6-of-15 passes for 84 yards to that side of the field on throws past the line of scrimmage, according to ESPN.
Sherman specifically was not targeted much in his first game. He was targeted three times, with Cousins completing one pass for 18 yards, including six yards after the catch, according to Pro Football Focus. Cousins had a passer rating of 54.9 on passes targeting Sherman’s receiver.
His speed is still a bit of an issue, but he still has that physicality to help compensate for it. We saw it in the second quarter on his coverage of Laquon Treadwell.
Sherman got particularly handsy, but nothing was called. I don’t think it was the most egregious of plays, but I also know that if he was with the Seahawks and did this against the 49ers, we would collectively have lost it. Such is the life of adding a bitter rival!
Overall, it was a solid, relatively quiet 49ers debut for Richard Sherman. I am surprised he was not targeted a little bit more, and I have to think we see quarterbacks challenge him a bit more in coming weeks. Matthew Stafford is set to play this weekend, and I have a hunch it starts then. Week 3 against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will be a big test, particularly if Sherman ends up matched up against Tyreek Hill.
But for now, so far so good!