Whether he had help from his safeties in Week 2 or not – something that became a point of contention in a conference call with reporters this week – it’s clear that New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has no doubt he can cover Randy Moss one-on-one.
Both Moss and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have suggested that Revis limited the Patriots’ best vertical receiver to four catches for a season-low 24 yards mostly because he had help in the secondary. Revis, though, has the skills to shut down Moss one-on-one – and his ability to do so today might be the difference in the game.
“They know how we’re going to line him up,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. “They know how we’re going to play him. Darrelle Revis gives us an opportunity on defense to do what other defenses can’t do and that’s to really get after it. He’s a special player. He doesn’t back down from any challenge, and obviously Randy Moss is a huge challenge.”
It’s almost impossible for opponents to double-team both Moss and Wes Welker, receivers with vastly different styles, without leaving virtually all the Patriots’ other weapons unguarded. If Revis can defend Moss by himself, though, he frees up a safety to double-team Welker or a linebacker to go after Tom Brady.
Most cornerbacks can’t handle Moss one-on-one.
Revis, however, is not most cornerbacks.
“Randy Moss is the best vertical receiver in football,” Ryan said. “We have the best corner in football.”
According to the film analysts at ProFootballFocus.com, only New Orleans’ Jabari Greer has had the ball thrown in his direction as often as Revis while allowing a smaller percentage of completions. Quarterbacks throwing the ball in his direction have a rating of 47.5 – which is less than the rating Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell had before he was benched this week.
The 63-yard touchdown pass Moss caught from Brady against Indianapolis was just another example of what it takes to defend Moss one-on-one.
Revis, though, is unique in his ability to do just that – no matter what Moss or Belichick might say.
“Everyone saw the game,” Revis said. “Everybody knows I was in man coverage. That was the case. (Moss) is supposed to say that because (that day) wasn’t his day. He got shut out and was frustrated about it, which is cool. I don’t have anything against him. I still think he’s one of the best receivers in the league. When we go up against each other, it’s great competition.”