And so CB Darrelle Revis is indeed human. His consistent lockdown coverage that football fans have been accustomed to was violated on Sunday as the Bills targeted him an inordinate number of times during the Jets' 28-24 victory. While throwing in his direction is normally akin to playing with fire, Buffalo found success when looking in the direction of number 24.
Revis was on WR Stevie Johnson for most of the game, and Johnson finished with eight catches for 75 yards and a 5-yard touchdown. The score in the second quarter was the first against Revis since Week 6 of 2010 when Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas caught a 17-yard TD pass in the third quarter.
Six of Johnson's receptions Sunday went for less than 10 yards, as he continually ran short slant routes underneath the Jets' coverage. While many were surprised at the number of catches Johnson finished the game with, head coach Rex Ryan said it was all part of the plan.
"We asked Darrelle to do different things this game," said Ryan. "We didn't want the ball getting over our head, so we were willing to give up the underneath routes."
The intent of the game plan was to keep the Buffalo receivers below the secondary coverage, stressing the importance of aggressive tackling. Revis finished the game with eight solo tackles, the most he has had in a game since Week 6 of his rookie year in 2007. According to fellow corner CB Antonio Cromartie, Revis played exactly how he should have.
"The guy is playing zero-coverage the entire game," said Cromartie. "Our objective is to make sure everything is caught in front of you and make the tackle. He did a heck of a job. He did what was asked of him."
While the stat line against Revis is far from typical, he said, "I don't care if someone catches 20 balls for 200 yards and four touchdowns. If we win the game, that's what it's about."
The pass-happy Washington Redskins await the Jets in Week 13, and Revis will be ready. The 'Skins are throwing on 63 percent of their offensive snaps, compared to the league average of 57 percent. With several deep threats, the Jets secondary will be on high alert.
"I prepare the same way every week," said Revis. "I focus on what I need to do as a player and focus on winning. They're going to throw and they're going to test me. I need to keep my mind focused on that."
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan wouldn't confirm that approach today in his conference call with Jets reporters. But he did comment on Revis and his performance on Sunday.
"You might do that once, but that's not going to happen again," said Shanahan of catching Revis by surprise. "If you watch him on tape, anytime he's challenged he plays at a very, very high level. He's in a class by himself as far as I'm concerned."
The Bills and their audacious offensive approach may have beaten Revis several times, but it could not beat the Jets. Revis allowing a touchdown has become a feat that happens less often than a blue moon. Ryan recognizes the supreme talent of No. 24 and leaves him to defend his own "island" each game.
"I'll take Darrelle Revis every day of the week," said the Jets coach. "He gave up the one touchdown, but he's a great player and great competitor. Knowing him, he can't wait to play this game."