Jerry Rice reveals the toughest matchup of his Hall of Fame career

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Jerry Rice didn’t have to think too hard when asked about which defensive back presented the toughest matchup for him during his Hall of Fame career.

“Deion Sanders,” Rice said promptly after Keyshawn Johnson posed the question on his podcast “All Facts No Brakes.”

“The battles that we had back in the day, even when he was with Atlanta and also with Dallas. It was mano a mano,” Rice said. “And I primed and I prepared myself for that. All the reps during the week, I wanted to take those reps. I wanted to be able to have a gameplan going in. And if you’re going to face the best, you’d better have a game plan. I wanted to initiate, I was not gonna wait for him to bring it to me. So I was gonna attack him right from the start, you know with my route-running, with double moves. Even if it was a running play I was sprinting 60 yards down the field.”

For Rice, another speedy DB came to mind after Sanders.

“But then also [former Washington cornerback] Darrell Green,” he said.” So the real fast guys, you’ve got to have a plan when you come to the line, and you’ve got to get them off their base on the snap of the ball, and I think I had the greatest coach ever Bill Walsh to always tell me that you’ve got to win at the line of scrimmage. And I was able to do that.”

Rice and Sanders had an even record against each other when their teams faced (5-5), but both men have impressive cumulative stats from the 10 matchups. Sanders posted four picks and a kickoff return TD, while Rice pulled in 60 catches for 1,051 yards and 10 TDs (albeit, not all of his receptions came directly against Sanders).

Rice’s best games against Sanders’ teams include a 13-reception, 225-yard, five-TD masterpiece against Atlanta in 1990, and a five-catch, 161-yard, one-TD game vs. Dallas in 1995. The 49ers great epitomized consistent excellence throughout his 20-year tenure as a pro, but it’s no surprise to hear that his toughest opponent was Colorado’s current head coach.

There’s a reason they call him…

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Publish date : 2024-04-01 22:53:34

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