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The Rise of Revis: By the Numbers

As we approach Christmas, it’s down to the wire again for Jets fans. We approach a Christmas Eve match-up with our same town rival the New York Giants. Both teams are in control of their own destiny; win two in a row and they are headed for the playoffs – slip up once and they are going home. It’s going to become a battle for the ages at MetLife Stadium. While fans of the Giants will be hoping for Santa to bring them a victory this holiday, Jets fans will be praying to their savior of choice, Darrelle Revis. Affectionately nicknamed “Revis Christ” by Jets fans, his play over the course of his young career has been nothing short of spectacular.

The moment he was drafted, he was the best CB on the roster, and he proved that over the course of his rookie season. As a sophomore he stepped up his game, and he played like a top-flight CB in the league. When Rex Ryan was hired as the new head coach of the New York Jets, one of the first things Ryan publicly stated was that he felt Revis was the best in the game. Darrelle accepted the challenge and stepped up his performance. Revis responded in 2009 with arguably the best season by a CB in NFL history.

Against Darrelle Revis:

Rest of the Season:

In addition to shutting down receivers week in and week out, Revis also added 31 passes defended and 6 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the regular season. Revis also added 2 more spectacular interceptions in the playoffs. He posted an opposing passer rating of 31.3 throughout the entire season including the playoffs. According to the NY Times article “Just How Good Was Revis Last Year?” by Toni Minkovich, Revis was so much better than his peers, that in order for a QB to have a comparable season, he would have to throw for an NFL record 5,500 yards.

Even though Revis was not voted Defensive Player of the Year, I still maintain his 2009 season is much better than what is considered to be the greatest season a corner has ever played, Deion Sanders’ 1994 season, shown below. I’ll let you be the judge based on the numbers.

Due to less accurate information from the 1994 season, the number of times Sanders was targeted was unavailable, so as a result a passer rating could not be calculated. But just comparing completions allowed, yardage totals, TDs allowed, Sanders’ season pales in comparison to what Revis accomplished in 2009. Deion did have 6 interceptions, 3 of which he returned for scores, and 1 fumble recovery. Deion did incredible things in 1994, things that no one had seen before causing many people to believe he was the greatest to play the game at his position. Yet, what we witnessed in 2009 topped even Sanders’ greatest effort.

Regardless of Revis’ brilliant 2009 season, he has had yet another amazing season in 2011. Through the first 8 games, Revis had been targeted 33 times and allowed only 10 receptions, none of which went for a touchdown. The QB rating when throwing against Revis was an insanely low 2.9. Since then Revis has “slacked off” a bit, having allowed a 54% completion percentage, and his only touchdown of the season to Stevie Johnson. The QB rating against Revis over the last 6 games is actually 81.3. However, looking solely at the game where Stevie Johnson had his big day (8 receptions for 75 yards and TD on 11 targets) Revis allowed a QB rating of 121.2. In the other 5 games, Revis QB rating against is 60.2. Overall on the season, Revis QB rating is 41.7.  Not quite the unbelievable season he had in 2009, but still amazing. With two games to go, anything could happen as Revis has to play the likes of Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Marshall, but based on his history, I’d be betting on Revis to come out ahead in both match-ups.

If the Jets are to make the playoffs, they are going to need more stellar play from their superstar, all-world corner, and fan proclaimed savior Revis Christ. He needs to shutdown Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Marshall in back to back weeks if the Jets are to win these games. Revis has never gone against Nicks, a man who plays bigger than his size and is an excellent young receiver. But based on his past play against big physical receivers it’s probably safe to assume Darrelle Revis is up to the challenge. Brandon Marshall on the other hand has always given Revis trouble – Revis usually comes out ahead, but Marshall has certainly made Revis work harder than almost anyone else he has played. It will be another tall task in a young career filled with them, but if anyone is up to the challenge, it is Darrelle Revis. If the defensive savior of the Jets delivers, I believe on Christmas Eve, Jets fans will be nestled all snug in their beds, with visions of another deep playoff run dancing in their heads.


All stats for Revis 2009 season pulled from box scores and play-by-plays from ESPN. All stats regarding Sanders 1994 season are less accurate, as they are pulled directly from box scores found in various locations, and can’t be proven that Sanders covered each receiver on all of their particular receptions.

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