Trouble On Revis Island: A Look At The Star Corner’s Recent Struggles
by 18 September 2016, 11:20 AM
Is Revis Island now an easily accessible peninsula?
As the old adage goes, father time is undefeated. Although we all want to believe that our favorite star players will be great forever, there is a time in every star player’s career when we must come to the realization that they are mere mortals just like the rest of us. One player who has taken an immense fall from immortality recently is Darrelle Revis.
For most of the last decade, Revis has been considered one of the best corners in football. He’s been an AP First Team All-Pro four times in his career and is a lock for Canton once he decides to hang up the cleats. A trip to Revis Island during his prime for most receivers resulted in feelings of hopelessness and the need to send out an S.O.S. for quarterbacks to find them.
However, the Revis Island we’ve seen recently in the Jets secondary has resembled more of a tropical paradise where quarterbacks and receivers are celebrating Spring Break. Here’s a deeper look at Revis’ recent struggles:
End Of Last Season
Although he wasn’t the lock-down corner he once was, Revis had a solid 2015 season. He allowed a quarterback rating of only 56.5 (third best in the NFL) on throws in his direction and ranked as PFF’s 26th ranked corner last season. While his season as a whole wasn’t bad, it ended on a sour note in the Jets’ Week 17 loss against the Bills.
This was the biggest game of the season for the Jets. They needed to win to get into the playoffs. When his team needed him most, Revis really struggled, especially when covering Sammy Watkins. Watkins had 11 receptions for 136 yards in the game, most of which were against Revis.
While he didn’t get beat on many huge plays, Tyrod Taylor attacked the Watkins-Revis matchup time after time and found tremendous success that whole night. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but in hindsight, it may have been a sign of things to come for Revis.
Week 1 Against Cincinnati
In the Jets Week 1 game against the Bengals, Darrelle Revis had arguably the worst game of his NFL career. In this game, he was a complete liability in coverage like Ryan Gosling in Remember the Titans. A.J. Green dominated Revis all game. He had 12 catches on 13 targets for 180 yards and a touchdown. Most of the damage was done when he was being covered by Revis, highlighted by his 54-yard touchdown.
When throwing in Revis’ direction in Week 1, Andy Dalton had a perfect completion percentage and a nearly perfect passer rating. The rest of the Jets defense actually did a pretty good job against Dalton. The big boys up front sacked Dalton seven times, and Dalton was not nearly as successful throwing at any other Jets defender.
Whenever he got in trouble throughout the course of the game, Dalton went to the Green-Revis matchup and was successful each time. I’ve never seen a quarterback target Revis with confidence this often in a game.
Week 2 Against Buffalo
While the Jets were able to avenge their Week 17 loss against Rex Ryan and the Bills, Revis once against looked shaky in coverage. On third-and-12 in their first series of the game, Tyrod Taylor launched the ball deep to Marquise Goodwin, who beat Revis on a simple “Go” route for an 84-yard touchdown.
Some people might try to cut Revis some slack for getting burned by Goodwin. He’s an Olympic track athlete and one of the fastest players in the league. However, despite Goodwin’s incredible speed, he’s had very little success as a receiver in the NFL. This was his first touchdown since his rookie season in 2013. To get beat for a long touchdown by an unproven receiver in an obvious passing situation is inexcusable for Revis.
The rest of the game was fairly clean for Revis, as he didn’t give up many more receptions. However, he was giving a much larger cushion than he usually does to the Bills receivers, and his confidence appeared to be shaken.
Based on his recent play, it’s obvious that Revis has lost a step and isn’t the lock-down corner he once was. The aura of Revis Island is gone and quarterbacks no longer fear throwing in his direction. That being said, he’s still a solid player whom any team in the NFL would want in their secondary.
Going forward, Todd Bowles will need to give Revis more help, especially when he goes up against the league’s best receivers. I can also see Revis making a Charles Woodson-like move to the safety position sometime in the next few years. As disappointing as it is to see the decline of Revis, this is an aspect of every great player’s career, and he’ll still go down as one of the greatest corners of all time.
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