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Richard Sherman's pivotal tip appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated

(Paul Kitagaki Jr./ MCT/ Zumapress.com) (Paul Kitagaki Jr./ MCT/ Zumapress.com)

Richard Sherman, the talk of the NFL since the NFC title game, appears on one of Sports Illustrated's national covers this week. (Peyton Manning and the Broncos appear on the other.)

With the NFC championship on the line, Sherman made the play of the game against Michael Crabtree ... and then proceeded to blast Crabtree to anyone who would listen. (He later explained his comments in an exclusive piece on TheMMQB.) SI NFL experts can't wait for Sherman to take his act to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII.

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"Pete Carroll's Seahawks led the league in every major pass-defending category because they perfected a hybrid scheme that features suffocating press-man corner on the outside," writes TheMMQB's Andy Benoit. "One of them, Richard Sherman, speaks the truth when boasting that he's the best in the NFL. ... It will be fascinating to see how the record-setting Broncos offense attacks this secondary."

Peter King also makes his pick for the NFL’s biggest game.

“Turnovers can change everything, and here the Seahawks are superior: They ended the regular season plus-20, while Denver was dead even at zero. The Legion of Boom had a large hand in most of those mistakes -- but so did Seattle’s intimidating 12th Man, which Manning won’t have to worry about in the Meadowlands.”

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