There's been plenty of talk about Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his personality of late. Part of that personality is his adamant belief that he's the best cornerback in the NFL, something that's difficult to refute, especially with Darrelle Revis having a relatively pedestrian year after a significant ACL injury.
But Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas isn't balking at Sherman and his potential to shut down any receiver in the league. Thomas said that Sherman is a "great player," but that he'd "love to have that matchup to show what kind of player I am," via Kevin Patra of NFL.com.
Thomas did follow up by saying that he didn't know if he would get matched up with Sherman or not. He is Denver's top receiver, with 92 receptions on 143 targets for 1,430 yards this season -- his stats remarkably consistent with last season, in which he had 94 receptions off of 141 targets for 1,434 yards.
Then again, the Broncos have multiple receiving options that could draw Sherman's coverage. For some teams, it's a no-brainer to put Sherman on the top guy, but with so many talented receivers, the actual matchup will be more important to Seattle's coaches. Sherman could end up stationed elsewhere on gameday.
There's only light practices being conducted on Saturday, and no new pertinent injury information will really be available until we get to the final days of next week's practices. In the meantime, it's worth looking over the official injury report for the first week of practices.
The players of note for the Denver Broncos include running back Knowshon Moreno and kicker Matt Prater. Both are listed as questionable on the injury report after Prater missed two practices and Moreno was limited in all three this past week. However, both are expected to be at full health, and the next injury reports should reflect this.
For the Seahawks, the biggest news is regarding wide receiver Percy Harvin, who is expected to play without any limitations in the Super Bowl. Nobody is quite sure what he'll be able to bring to the table at this point, but he is healthy.
Baldwin becoming top option
While much of the talk has been on Harvin and his injury this past week, another Seattle receiver has been quietly making his name known: Doug Baldwin.
An undrafted free agent pickup, Baldwin is the heart of a group of receivers that is consistently doubted across the league. But Baldwin came on strong against the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round, converting on a pivotal third down. He then came through again against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, catching a 51-yard pass and igniting the Seattle offense.
In other words: Harvin may not even be a factor on gameday, while Baldwin will be looking to show 31 other teams why they made a mistake in passing him up on multiple occasions during the NFL Draft.
You can talk about the wins and losses and how the Broncos and Seahawks have performed to this point. You can look at how Seattle has the top defense in the NFL and Denver has the top offense in the NFL. Defense wins championships, but Denver's offense is among the best ever. But you can also take it a step further and break it down position-by-position, which SB Nation's James Dator did on Saturday. The verdict? Find out yourself!
How they built the team
Over at Mile High Report, they took a good look at how the Broncos and Seahawks got here. More accurately, they took a look at how both teams built to this point. For instance, the key turning point for the Broncos was when the team won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Since he joined, they've been near-unstoppable. Seattle, meanwhile, also tried to get Manning, but it went ahead and landed Russell Wilson anyway, and he's been the key component as well -- he doesn't lose games when the defense puts him in solid position, unlike previous Seattle signal callers.
Numbers of interest: 24:16
That's two numbers, of course, but they're definitely related. We talked earlier about how Thomas wanted to be covered by Sherman come Super Bowl Sunday, and those numbers are relevant. 24 is the number of receiving touchdowns Thomas has had over the past two seasons, and 16 is the number of interceptions Sherman has managed to snag in the same time. Both are impressive, but most would give the nod to Sherman with those numbers.