The Tip
CenturyLink Field (now Lumen Field), the site of the game, in 2014
1234 Total
SF 3770 17
SEA 031010 23
DateJanuary 19, 2014, 3:42 PM PST
StadiumCenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
FavoriteSeahawks by 4[1]
RefereeGene Steratore
TV in the United States
AnnouncersJoe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver, and Erin Andrews

The Tip, sometimes referred to as the Immaculate Deflection, was a play in the 2013 NFC Championship Game in the National Football League (NFL) between the #5 seeded San Francisco 49ers and the #1 seeded Seattle Seahawks. The game was played in CenturyLink Field (now known as Lumen Field) in Seattle, Washington and, being the NFC Championship Game, was televised nationally on Fox.

With the score 23–17 in favor of the Seahawks, the 49ers had driven the ball all the way to the Seahawks' 18 yard line. With 30 seconds left in regulation, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a pass to Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the endzone. Before Crabtree could catch the ball, cornerback Richard Sherman deflected the ball directly into linebacker Malcolm Smith's hands for an interception, all but sealing the Seahawks victory. With the win, the Seahawks advanced to just their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, in which they defeated the Denver Broncos 43–8 for their first Super Bowl win.[2] The Tip is often considered one of the biggest moments in Seattle Seahawks history.[3]

Events of the play

Until the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had not had a lead the entire game. That changed when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse with 13:44 left in the game, making the score 20–17. After a 47-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka with 3:37 left, the lead increased to 23–17.

The 49ers moved the ball quickly to the 18 yard line, needing a touchdown and subsequent extra point to retake the lead. With 30 seconds remaining, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick avoided mounting pressure from defensive end Cliff Avril, launching a pass to Michael Crabtree in the right side of the endzone. Before Crabtree could catch the ball, cornerback Richard Sherman leaped into the air and tipped the ball. It promptly landed into the hands of linebacker Malcolm Smith, who took a knee for a Seattle touchback with 22 seconds left in the game.[4]

After the play

After a brief celebration, Sherman ran over to Crabtree and offered his hand for a handshake, but Crabtree shoved Sherman's facemask.[5][6] Sherman then directed a choke sign at Crabtree, which earned him an unsportsmanlike conduct flag. Since there was still 22 seconds left, the game continued. Russell Wilson knelt three times, causing the 49ers to burn their last two timeouts, and the game was over.

Richard Sherman's post-game interview

The following is Sherman's now-famous post-game interview with Erin Andrews:

Andrews: "Richard, let me ask you, the final play, take me through it."

Sherman: "Well, I'm the best corner[back] in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you EVER talk about me!"

Andrews: "Who was talking about you?"

Sherman: "Crabtree. Don't you open your mouth about the best, or y'know I'm gonna shut it for you real quick! L. O. B.!"

Andrews: "Alright, before-" [Sherman runs off] "...and Joe, back over to you!"[7][6]

Many considered Sherman's outburst as immature, rude, and disrespectful toward Crabtree and Andrews.[8][9] Sherman later said in a CNN interview "You know, I don't mean to attack [Crabtree]. And that was immature and I probably shouldn't have done that. I regret doing that."[10]


The play was later dubbed the Immaculate Deflection as a tribute to the Immaculate Reception. The plays were somewhat similar: in both plays, the pass was deflected into a teammate's hand. However, the Immaculate Deflection resulted in an interception, whereas with the Immaculate Reception, it was caught by the offense and run in for a touchdown.


The Seahawks went on to blow out the Denver Broncos 43–8 in Super Bowl XLVIII two weeks later, winning their first Lombardi Trophy in team history.[11] The 49ers, however, did not return to the postseason until 2019, also failing to climb above the .500 mark in terms of their win–loss record in each of the following seasons until 2019. Some credit Sherman's tip with the steady decline of the 49ers.[12] Coincidentally, Sherman joined the 49ers in 2018.

Six days after the Championship game, Sherman was fined $7,875 for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty toward Crabtree.[13]

In 2018 in a week 13 matchup between the 49ers and the Seahawks, the Seahawks reenacted Sherman's tip after a 1st quarter touchdown pass. Doug Baldwin played the role of Sherman, tipping the ball to David Moore, who played the role of Malcolm Smith. Jaron Brown played Kaepernick, and Tyler Lockett played Crabtree. Since both Sherman and Smith were currently on the 49ers, it was unsure if it was a tribute to Sherman, or a mockery,[14][15] especially after Sherman called the Seahawks a middle of the road team prior to the game.[16] The Seahawks won the game 43-16 and officially eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention.[17]

Starting lineups

San Francisco Position Seattle
Colin Kaepernick QB Russell Wilson
Frank Gore RB Marshawn Lynch
Anthony Dixon FB Michael Robinson
Anquan Boldin WR Doug Baldwin
Vernon Davis TE WR Jermaine Kearse
Vance McDonald TE Zach Miller
Joe Staley LT Russell Okung
Mike Iupati LG James Carpenter
Jonathan Goodwin C Max Unger
Alex Boone RG J. R. Sweezy
Anthony Davis RT Breno Giacomini
Glenn Dorsey NT LDE Red Bryant
Ray McDonald LDT Tony McDaniel
Justin Smith RDT Brandon Mebane
Aldon Smith OLB RDE Chris Clemons
Ahmad Brooks OLB Bruce Irvin
NaVorro Bowman ILB OLB Malcolm Smith
Patrick Willis ILB MLB Bobby Wagner
Tramaine Brock LCB Richard Sherman
Tarell Brown RCB Byron Maxwell
Eric Reid SS Kam Chancellor
Donte Whitner FS Earl Thomas


See also


  1. ^ "NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks - January 19th, 2014". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  2. ^ "Report cards: Kaepernick fails 49ers late vs. Seahawks". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  3. ^ "Best moments in Seattle Seahawks history". Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  4. ^ "Richard Sherman's tip leads Seahawks to Super Bowl". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  5. ^ "Sherman, Crabtree mic'd during NFC championship". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  6. ^ a b NFL Films (Jul 13, 2015). Richard Sherman Mic'd Up vs. Michael Crabtree 2013 NFC Championship Game. YouTube.
  7. ^ Patra, Kevin. "Richard Sherman: 'I'm the best corner in the game'".
  8. ^ Levy, Dan. "Richard Sherman's Outburst Was Rude, Brash, Disrespectful and Totally Awesome". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  9. ^ Project, The Good Men. "The Real Reason Everyone Is So Mad At Richard Sherman". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  10. ^ Lateef Mungin and Steve Almasy. "Richard Sherman stunned by reaction to his victory rant". CNN. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  11. ^ "Seahawks vs. Broncos - Game Summary - February 2, 2014 - ESPN". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  12. ^ "Elite to Laughingstock: Tracing the San Francisco 49ers' Fall from Grace". Niner Noise. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  13. ^ "Richard Sherman fined for taunting". 2014-01-24. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  14. ^ "Seahawks reenact 'The Tip' after first quarter touchdown against 49ers". KING. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  15. ^ "Watch: Seahawks recreate 'The Tip' after scoring first touchdown against Richard Sherman-led 49ers". The Seattle Times. 2018-12-02. Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  16. ^ "Richard Sherman calls Seahawks 'middle of the road'". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  17. ^ "Seahawks eliminate Richard Sherman from playoff hunt". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  18. ^ "National Football League Game Summary" (PDF).