Not against receivers catching passes against him. And, certainly not against critics.
It was so rare to see Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson beat the New York Jets cornerback for catch after catch last Sunday that some were left wondering: What’s wrong with Revis?
Well, absolutely nothing.
“The standards are so high because of how just ridiculously consistent he’s been and how well he’s played,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. “So when he does give up a couple of completions, you’re like, ‘Wow, this guy is human.’ It’s hard to play a perfect season.”
However, with Revis, generally regarded as the NFL’s best cornerback, perfection is expected.
That’s not to say he doesn’t ever give up a reception, of course. But when Johnson was beating him on slant routes over and over again for eight catches and 75 yards, it was hard not to notice. Johnson also caught the only touchdown pass Revis has allowed this season.
It was by no means Revis’ best performance, but was it really a bad game for Revis?
“That’s false,” safety Brodney Pool said. “Going into the game, we knew as a team that they like to chip away and we didn’t want to give up the big play. I think we did a good job of that. He caught what we gave him. It’s not like Reeve had a bad game. He still played well.”
Jets coach Rex Ryan said Revis was playing mostly in Cover Zero against Johnson, meaning the cornerback was in mostly man-to-man without any safety help to make up for any mistakes.
“He gave up 75 yards,” Ryan said. “And that’s if every one of the completions were against him in zero coverage the whole game. I’ll sign up for that each week. That’s a great performance. You’re in zero coverage and you give up 75 yards? That’s a pretty good performance.”
Pettine added that some of the coverages the Jets were in “really put Darrelle in a bind.”
“We were daring them to throw to that side and they did,” Pettine said. “They made some plays. Some of the slants that were called were in down and distances where we were more than willing to give those up. Again, you just get to that comfort level with Darrelle where he’s giving up some throws and you realize that it’s going to happen from time to time. But still, you just look at his body of work, it’s not even close.
“He’s the best corner in football.”
Pool added that outsiders focus too much on statistics, numbers that don’t tell the whole story.
“We were basically rolling the coverage away from him,” he said. “It’s a situation where he didn’t let the guy get behind him. He doesn’t listen to any of that. He understands it all. He knows the responsibility that comes with being him.”
It has been a unique week as the Jets found themselves defending their star cornerback, who has shut down some of the game’s best receivers over the last few seasons with regular dominance. Just ask Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, Randy Moss and Chad Ochocinco.
“Monday, we looked at the film, got the corrections and then you move on, just like any other game,” Revis said. “We won the game. I don’t care if somebody catches 20 balls for 200 yards and four touchdowns. If we win the game, that’s really what it’s about. It’s a team effort and it’s about just winning. That’s really what it is.”
That might not be entirely true, though. Revis’ teammates and coaches have often talked about how the cornerback gets angry if he allows a reception even during practice. So, watching game film of his performance against Buffalo had even Washington coach Mike Shanahan caught a bit off guard.
“He wasn’t ready for that, because nobody does that,” Shanahan said of Buffalo challenging Revis. “Probably caught him a little bit by surprise. I don’t think anybody’s going to catch him by surprise anymore. You might do that once, but that’s not going to happen again.”
Shanahan and his Redskins will get a firsthand look at Revis, whom the Washington coach expects to be at his usual high level again.
“Yeah, I can guarantee you that will happen because he’s done it throughout the year against some excellent football players,” Shanahan said. “He’s in a class by himself as far as I’m concerned.”
So, Rex Grossman shouldn’t throw to Revis’ side of the field this weekend?
“Not too often, anyhow,” Shanahan said.
Revis appreciated Shanahan’s comments, but insists he’ll be ready for anything against the Redskins.
“I don’t know, it might be reversed, him wanting me to relax and then they do come after me,” Revis said. “I prepare the same way every week, and every week I approach it the same. So, I just focus on what I need to do as a player for this team to just try to get a win.”