I keep reading these debates over who is the best CB in the league and the knock on Sherm is always that he only plays one side of the field and doesn't cover the best receiver on every play. But what these "analyst" never talk about is why he only plays on the left side of the field and why having Sherm in that particular position is the fuel that drives our entire defense. Nearly every QB in the league is right handed. Watch any game and you see that almost all QB's prefer to throw to their right rather than across their chest to their left. So now you're a right handed QB and you drop back, but don't even bother scanning to your right because you don't want to test Sherm. This leaves you with the short middle, (because Thomas is fifteen yards off the line) and the left side of the field. Now the QB has a wedge of space starting in the short center that narrows because of the sideline to his left he can throw to.
Now, and here is where it gets really nasty, on passing downs, for a right handed QB, we line Avril and Bennett up, side by side forcing the QB to move the pocket to his left, further condensing his throwing space. This means on passing downs we are giving a right handed QB a sliver of space to throw into. This allows our entire defense to flow into this sliver of space.
If you don't believe me, go back and re-watch as many games as you can and you will see on many passing downs, Sherman doesn't even have a receiver to cover as the offense has bunched it's receivers to its left. Now Sherman is a able to freelance. If the offense does put a receiver on Sherm's side in these situations they almost always run a 3rd or 4th receiver on a deep decoy route that attempts to create space underneath....which Sherman is very much aware of.
So how many teams in the NFL have a CB that cuts the opposing passing space in half, ( it's really more like 65 percent.) Yeah, I don't think there are any.