By Brady Henderson
Minutes after the Seahawks defense made a big statement in Sunday’s win over Carolina, cornerback Richard Sherman made one of his own.
“We’ve got the best secondary out there in football,” Sherman told Jen Mueller on the postgame show, “and I think we’ve got two of the best corners in football.”
Brandon Browner stripped DeAngelo Williams in the third quarter to set up the Seahawks’ only touchdown. (AP photo)
After the role that unit played in shutting down Cam Newton and holding Carolina’s offense to just three points, it’s hard to argue with him.
The Seahawks defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown for the second straight week, and their secondary was again a major reason why. There were plenty of key plays turned in by that group on Sunday, but none bigger than the fumble that cornerback Brandon Browner forced and recovered in the third quarter.
The Seahawks trailed 10-6, having turned the ball over on three of their first four possessions of the second half, when Browner made the play of the game. Carolina ran an option play to his side, and when Newton pitched to DeAngelo Williams, Browner secured the tackle before ripping the ball out.
The Seahawks took over at Carolina’s 27-yard line and scored the go-ahead touchdown five plays later.
“That was an amazing play. I think that was what flipped the momentum,” Sherman said.
Browner made a team-high six tackles, on one of them combining with nickelback Marcus Trufant to stop Carolina’s Louis Murphy short of the goal line. Sherman had five tackles and also forced a fumble that was recovered by Carolina.
Newton threw for a season-low 141 yards on 12-of-29 passing. Four of those incompletions were knocked down by Seahawks defensive backs, including one by Sherman that might have saved a touchdown.
Sherman spent much of his day covering Steve Smith, a small receiver who’s not afraid to mix it up with the guy lined up across from him. Browner and Sherman, as you might have noticed, aren’t either. Smith was targeted 13 times but finished with four catches for 40 yards and one penalty for holding Sherman, which might have been the result of some frustration.
“He’s one of those feisty players who tries to get under your skin,” Sherman said of Smith, “but I think I did a good job of getting under his skin today, getting my hands on him and letting him know, early.”