This individual showdown is one of the most anticipated in the league this week, and something Randy Moss says he’s been looking forward to. And these are the weeks that Revis lives for — A chance to showcase his ability to shut down big-time receivers, and do so all by himself.
“I take that with pride,” Revis said. “I want to, and do it the best way I can. I can’t defend everything, some balls are gonna get caught. But you have to accept that.
“I look at it simple – If I a guy’s averaging 100 yards a game, I try to cut that in half. Or even less. I’m not letting him get his average that game.”
To try to get to the real numbers on Revis vs. Moss last week, we enlisted the good folks at Pro Football Focus. Here we go …
Revis played 160 snaps (penalties included) in two games against the Patriots (77 in Week 2, 83 in Week 11) last year. He was in coverage on 94 of those (49/45), and was thrown at 19 times (7/12). The Patriots completed nine passes for 96 yards (43 of those came on one catch from Wes Welker.) Moss was targeted 15 times vs. Revis, and caught seven balls for 50 yards.
That tells you what you need to know.
But why I think Moss is in for another quiet game against Revis has as much to do with what the Patriots are as a team.
Here’s the relevant question: Why would you go Revis? Why not attack Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson? What do you have to prove?
The Patriots have always been a game-plan type of team, and that approach is based on finding the other team’s weakness and exploiting it. So it wouldn’t make much sense to bang your head against the wall (unless, ahem, it’s garbage time) and play right into the opponent’s strength, would it?
Remember, Wes Welker had 15 catches for 192 yards against these guys last year, and will draw the rookie Wilson (who Jets DC Mike Pettine says will have lots of help). And I also believe that Julian Edelman will play a significant role, coming off that sprained foot, since the best way to attack an aggressive Jets defense (and maybe get them to back off) could be to get Edelman in space on screens and test the tackling of the Jets secondary.
Then, there’s the fact that the Jets struggled with Baltimore tight end Todd Heap last week, and you could see Rob Gronkowski making hay, even if Brodney Pool comes back and makes a difference. Or how Kevin Faulk could hurt New York on draws.
All these guys — Welker, Edelman, Gronkowski and Faulk — won’t have big games. The Jets defense is too good to let that happen. But running through the names shows you how it might be silly to engage in the Revis-Moss thing again if you’re the Patriots.
That’s why, anyway, I expect a pretty quiet week from No. 81. That, and that Revis really has had his number over the last 12 months.