Richard Sherman was the least-targeted corner in the NFL last season, and still managed to rack up the most interceptions. In Week 1 against the Packers, Aaron Rodgers didn't give him a single look. For Week 2, the Chargers say they weren't scared of Sherman for a second.
"All week we said we were going to throw at him because he's not what he's hyped up to be," said Allen, adding that he enjoys going up against "the best" while making quote signs with his fingers. "I just went out and played my game."
That's big talk, and much easier to say after a 30-21 win. But Philip Rivers, playing without his friend and center Nick Hardwick for the first time in a long time, managed to mix up his targets, and that included finding Allen or Eddie Royal even with Sherman in the vicinity.
Unofficially, Rivers was 5-for-5 for 60 yards when targeting receivers with Sherman on them. In the News Tribune's Gregg Bell's figuring, Sherman saw the ball six times—three of them tackles Sherman made coming off other assignments, and three catches made "on routes broken off in front of him or run outside of him."
It's that math that Sherman was referring to when he sent out this Tweet last night:
And that was all Sherman had to say, because he left without talking to the media.
"Keenan was lighting up Sherman," Chargers WR Malcom Floyd said. More often than not, the targets on Sherman's side came with Allen there after getting jammed at the line, and that wasn't a coincidence.
"We like that matchup," Rivers said of Allen versus Sherman, "not in the sense that, 'Oh, that was our star guy. Go after Sherman,' by any means," Rivers said. "He's a heck of a corner. And Keenan made a few plays on him today. We did like Keenan's ability to get off press coverage."
Three completions, five completions, whatever: it's not as if Sherman was getting torched, especially not in a game where San Diego had the ball for a whopping 42:15 and the real fireworks came to TE Antonio Gates, who was 7-of-7 for 96 yards and three touchdowns, all working out of the slot.
But Allen and the Chargers just beat the defending champs, and beat them fairly convincingly. I think even Richard Sherman would appreciate that the time for trash talk is after you've earned it. And this is good trash talk.
"He's just a normal guy," Allen said of Sherman. "We can go at him. We took some shots at him. We are not going to shy away from him. He's not really a shutdown corner. We definitely wanted to come out and show we could go any way we wanted to and that we were in control of the game."