EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Richard Sherman made the bold comments after the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship Game, but it was some of his teammates who did the big talking after the Seahawks' lopsided win in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Sherman said he was the best cornerback in the game two weeks ago, but defensive end Michael Bennett took things to another level Sunday.
"We are the best defense ever," said Bennett, following the Seahawks' 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos. "We could have played anybody today and have done the same thing."
Seattle's defense, ranked No. 1 in the regular season, certainly was dominant Sunday. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning set NFL records for passing yards (5,477) and touchdown passes (55) in the regular season, but the Broncos were held to just eight points by the Seahawks.
"We were mad at the eight points we gave up," Bennett said. "But that's what makes us so great."
On the offensive side of the ball, Seattle wideout Doug Baldwin clearly took issue with ESPN analyst and Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter's characterization of the Seahawks' receivers -- though he declined to name Carter.
"For all of y'all that called us, the receiving corps, average, pedestrian, appetizers -- I'm not going to say any names, but he knows who he is -- I respect what you did on the field, but stick to football and stick to playing football because your analytical skills ain't up to par yet," Baldwin said. "You need to slow down and you need to go back and not do it half-ass and put some effort into it because you're saying some stuff that didn't really make sense."
Baldwin had a team-high five receptions for 66 yards against the Broncos, including a touchdown catch.
Sherman backed up his buddy Baldwin. "Our receivers were called pedestrian, and also called appetizers," Sherman said. "I think if anybody took a bite out of them, they'd be pretty full."
But Sherman did not go nearly as far as Bennett when asked about the Seattle defense's place in history, compared to other legendary units like the Pittsburgh Steelers' Steel Curtain and the 1985 Chicago Bears.
"Our defense wanted to etch ourselves in history, and I think we did that today," Sherman said. "We're in there somewhere. As long as we're in that mix, we're all right. It doesn't matter what order you put us in, just put us in the conversation."