Let’s take a look:
1. Tale of the Tape: Sherman vs. Thomas By the Numbers
Richard Sherman: 6-foot-3
Demaryius Thomas: 6-foot-3
Richard Sherman: 195 pounds
Demaryius Thomas: 229 pounds
Richard Sherman: 25 (DOB: 3/30/1988)
Demaryius Thomas: 26 (DOB: 12/25/1987)
Richard Sherman: Three seasons (154th overall selection in 2011 draft)
Demaryius Thomas: Four seasons (22nd overall selection in 2010 draft)
Richard Sherman: 48 tackles, 16 passes defended, eight interceptions, one touchdown
Demaryius Thomas: 92 receptions, 1,430 yards, 14 touchdowns
2. Both Are Coming Off Spectacular Games
Meanwhile, Thomas tallied a game-high 134 yards receiving on seven catches against the Patriots, including a three-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
Watch below to see NFL Network’s Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk debate who has the edge between Sherman and Thomas in Super Bowl XLVIII:
3. There is Mutual Respect Between Them
We all heard Sherman’s tirade after Seattle’s thrilling victory over San Francisco in the NFC Championship. The third-year pro called 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree a “mediocre receiver,” but had no such words for Demaryius Thomas prior to the Super Bowl.
Richard Sherman's intense post-game interview after his interception and the Seahawks win over the 49ers in the AFC Championship game.Click here to read more
Sherman told Yahoo! Sports:
I definitely think he’s in the top five. He’s put together a heck of a year and done everything in his power to put himself in that conversation. He’s made the big catches. He’s made a lot of runs after the catch and turned small plays into huge plays. I think that he’s a great receiver, and he’s a great competitor. It’s going to be a fun matchup between both of us, because we’re both intense competitors and good friends.”
Watch below to hear Sherman discuss matching up against Thomas in the Super Bowl:
Thomas reiterated those sentiments about Sherman in the week leading up to the Super Bowl.
He told NFL.com:
I respect it. Coming from him, he’s one of the best in the league. So coming from him, that’s good.”
“I think I done faced more physical. But he is physical. He switch it up, he don’t always try to be physical because he don’t have to. He switch up stuff, that’s why I feel he’s one of the best at what he does.”
Check out the clip below to get Thomas’ take on lining up against Sherman and the rest of the Seahawks secondary:
4. Sherman and Thomas Might Not Be Matched Up the Whole Game
Despite all the hype building over Sherman vs. Thomas, the latter said he doesn’t even know if the two will be matched up the whole game.
Thomas told NFL.com:
(Sherman’s) a great player. I’d love to have that matchup to show what kind of player I am. I don’t know if we’ll match up, but like I said, he’s a great player.”
ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, who was featured in a segment on Pardon the Interruption Thursday, was asked what percentage of the time he believes Sherman and Thomas will be matched up against one another in the Super Bowl.
I think he’ll match up with Demaryius Thomas quite a bit,” Jaworski said.
“I also think the Denver Broncos will go to some slot left formations because the Seahawks do not flop their corners. Richard Sherman will stay on the close side of that formation.”
5. These Teams Played This Preseason — And Seattle Won Convincingly
Many people forget that Seattle and Denver did in fact play each other in the 2013 preseason. Yes, it’s the preseason and it’s not typically an accurate depiction of each team as the starters played only the first half.
But, for what it’s worth, the Seahawks crushed the Broncos 40-10 in that contest, which was played at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Demaryius Thomas hauled in three passes for 52 yards while Richard Sherman registered two tackles and one pass defended.