So, here’s a pretty stunning stat: Andy Dalton targeted A.J. Green 10 times when Darrelle Revis was in coverage on him, and completed all 10 passes. That’s 152 yards and a touchdown against the man once known as Revis Island, and an astronomical 152.1 passer rating for Dalton.
“It probably wasn’t one of my better games,” Revis acknowledged.
The New York tabloids are killing him today, and declaring him done, and while Green’s massive game in Cincinnati’s 23-22 was not all Revis’s fault—the Jets claimed beforehand they would give Revis help, yet often left him in one-on-one—when he got beat, he was beat by speed and quickness.
Revis was expecting safety help here, but watch his five-yard cushion disappear within 20 yards (and just nine strides by Green) and turn into serious separation that would have looked even worse had Dalton not underthrown the ball.
Similarly, Green’s fantastic grab for 32 yards early in the fourth quarter came against decent coverage by Revis, but it couldn’t have happened without Green earning sufficent separation by turning Revis inside out and speeding by him against the sideline.
The backbreaker was an 11-yard gain with a minute remaining that put the Bengals in range for a game-winning field goal. This was apparently an option route, with the primary route seeing Green go over the middle. But with LB Darron Lee sitting back, Green put a hand on Revis’s pads, went outside, and was wide open.
“He ran a route like he was doing a slant and broke it back out,” Revis said. “I tried to execute it the best I could and he made a play.”
I’m not going to make any strong pronouncements about Revis, not based on one game against one of the NFL’s best receivers. But there were some bad games last season which in a certain light could look like warning signs, and Revis is 31 years old, on the downslope of a cornerback’s aging curve, and was facing a receiver at the peak of his. In any circumstance Revis is still a talent and is always going to be matched up against an opponent’s best weapon. But still to come in 2016 are the likes of Sammy Watkins, Doug Baldwin, Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Julian Edelman, and T.Y Hilton. It’s a receivers’ league, and Revis’s best days are not ahead of him.