SEATTLE — The NFC Championship Game was decided when Richard Sherman made the play of the game. Then he followed it up with the quote of the day.
Sherman deflected a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the end zone. The ball was intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith with 22 seconds remaining to seal the Seahawks’ 23-17 win against the San Francisco 49ers.
After the game, Sherman, known for his bold statements, took a shot at Crabtree.
“I’m the best corner[back] in the game,” Sherman said on the field immediately after the game. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get.”
Crabtree appeared irritated when told of Sherman’s comments.
“He’s a TV guy, I’m not a TV guy,” Crabtree said. “He didn’t make any other plays in the game … But he made a good play there. He can keep talking. …
“You make one play and you talk? Good play.”
Crabtree was less diplomatic when he took to Twitter later Sunday night.
— Michael Crabtree (@KingCrab15) January 20, 2014
Sherman finished the game with two tackles and one pass defensed — the game changing deflection.
Kaepernick said he felt good about the play. He said he’d take Crabtree on-on-one “against anyone.”
In his post-game news conference, Sherman had a lot more to say about Crabtree.
“He wouldn’t make the top 20 of NFL receivers,” Sherman said. “If any team had a chance to pick Crabtree, they wouldn’t draft him.”
After the interception, Sherman ran over to Crabtree and patted him on the rear, saying something. Crabtree pushed Sherman in the facemask.
“I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver,” Sherman said. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens. I appreciate that he knows that now. There has been a lot of talk from him running his mouth about me.”
Sherman said he was surprised Kaepernick challenged him at the end.
“Everybody in the stadium was surprised,” Sherman said. “You throw that? It’s insane. I’m thankful they keep doing it. I should have picked it, but there was some offensive interference [on Crabtree] and I knew it wouldn’t be called.”
Information from ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Terry Blount was used in this report.
- Covered AFC West for five seasons for ESPN.com
- Covered Broncos for Denver Post
- Also covered Vikings, Packers, Seahawks