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Cardinals Find Success Against Richard Sherman

QB Josh Rosen wasn't afraid to test the elite CB on Sunday

WR Chad Williams hauls in a catch with 49ers CB Richard Sherman in coverage.
WR Chad Williams hauls in a catch with 49ers CB Richard Sherman in coverage.

There are some quarterbacks in the NFL who will barely bother to look in Richard Sherman's direction on pass plays.

Despite coming off a torn Achilles, the 49ers' star cornerback was his shutdown self through the first seven weeks of the season, allowing only three completions on 12 attempts for 61 yards and two first downs, per Pro Football Focus.

Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen didn't shy away from him in Sunday, and it paid off.

Rosen targeted Sherman seven times and completed four of them for 81 yards. All four passes went for first downs, which means Sherman allowed more completions, yards and first downs against the Cardinals than he had in his previous five games combined (he missed two with a calf injury).

Sherman didn't play poorly, as his coverage was usually tight, and he had a nice pass deflection in the end zone when Rosen tried to get the ball to J.J. Nelson on the final drive. But Larry Fitzgerald had the critical 37-yard fourth-quarter catch on Sherman to spark the comeback, and rookie Christian Kirk added a 19-yard gain on the final drive to set up his game-winning touchdown catch.

It can be a dangerous proposition to throw at Sherman, but it worked out well for the Cardinals on Sunday.

Cardinals targets vs. Richard Sherman

Table inside Article
Quarter Receiver Result
1 Larry Fitzgerald Incompletion
2 Chad Williams 14-yard completion
3 Christian Kirk Incompletion
3 Fitzgerald 11-yard completion
4 Fitzgerald 37-yard completion
4 Kirk 19-yard completion
4 J.J. Nelson Incompletion