Contrary to football myth, quarterbacks aren't the only ones who study film vociferously. In the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the expectation was that Peyton Manning would use that giant football brain enclosed within his enormous
five forehead, behind that moulded polycarbonate shell and plastic casing the NFL calls a helmet to combat the Seahawks' physical corners. Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond and Richard Sherman were plenty physical. They were also brilliant during the Super Bowl's planning stages.
Everyone assumed that with two weeks to prepare, Manning would counter with a brilliant scheme that would dismantle Seattle. If you thought that, then you were operating under the assumption that defensive backs don't study and make adjustments. The outcome was decisive in favor of Seattle's corners. It was a knockout of Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez proportions.
Speaking to MMQB's Robert Klemko after the win, Sherman explained how they able to outfox the greatest offensive on-field quarterback-coach in league history.
"All we did was play situational football," Sherman told the website in an interview held during one of the Seahawks' postgame victory parties. "We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes. Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half."
"Me, Earl, Kam … we're not just three All-Pro players. We're three All-Pro minds," Sherman told the website. "Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could've been exposed."