Can 49ers Richard Sherman keep it up entering 2020?

Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Richard Sherman, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Sammy Watkins, Richard Sherman, Chiefs, 49ers
Sammy Watkins #14 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Richard Sherman #25 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Why Richard Sherman regresses with 49ers in 2020

That Super Bowl completion allowed to Sammy Watkins does suggest the possibility Richard Sherman could be losing a step:

Granted, Sherman has never been classified as a speedster. He’s won primarily on IQ, positioning and physicality, particularly right off the snap to jam receivers off their routes.

The problem with that, though, is more and more receivers in today’s fleet-footed NFL are using speed and separation abilities to beat slower, more-physical defensive backs. And the NFC West boasts no shortage of these kinds of receivers, particularly after the Arizona Cardinals landed former Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins during the offseason.

It’s inevitable. But Sherman will eventually hit that point where he can no longer stay in the range of faster wideouts, limiting him to purely zone-coverage roles in San Francisco’s defense.

If that becomes the case here in 2020, it’ll be hard for Sherman to maintain his prowess.