Colts wide receivers can move quickly on the fast track at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. On Saturday night, however, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis stopped the flow for Reggie Wayne and planted him on desolate Revis Island for 60 minutes.
During the regular season, Wayne had 111 catches — most in the AFC and second-most in the NFL — for 1,355 yards, but in the Green & White's 17-16 wild-card victory over the Colts, he was held to one catch for 1 yard and in fact was targeted on only one pass.
"I'm just trying to execute my job," Revis said. "My job is to cover Reggie Wayne the whole game and I tried to do that to the best of my ability. If that's what it is, that's his stats. If his stats were 150 yards that would be his stats. I'm just trying to do my job and whatever the coaches tell me to do, I'll try to do it."
It was a show of humility from Revis, whose head coach, Rex Ryan, was unable to contain his enthusiasm for his modest All-Pro and three time Pro Bowl cornerback.
"The play of Darrelle Revis was ... quite honestly, he's the best player in football," Ryan said. "What you saw out there, Reggie Wayne led the league in catches. One catch for a whopping yard. That tells you how good Revis is."
Throughout the season Revis had a knack for bottling up opposing teams' No. 1 options. The Lions' Calvin Johnson was held to one catch for 14 yards in the Jets' overtime victory at Ford Field and the Bengals' Terrell Owens was hemmed in for three catches for 17 yards. Revis hasn't racked up the interception or pass defense numbers that he did a year ago, but quarterbacks have totally shied away from his side of the field.
"The impact he has is amazing," Ryan said. "We were able to do some coverages where we actually played man coverage on his side regardless who the receiver was and rolled coverage away from it. You only do that if you have Darrelle Revis. He's an amazing player, a once-in-a-lifetime player, and we take advantage of him. This week it's the same deal. They won't throw at him. They realize he's over there and their receiver won't be open."
The only time the frustrated Wayne was thrown to all night by Peyton Manning was on a wide receiver screen. After making minimal progress, Wayne was nailed by Revis with a hit that showed just how physical the matchup would be.
When the Jets travel to face the top-seeded and AFC East rival Patriots on Sunday in the AFC Divisional Round, Revis and the rest of the defense will have to show the form that held Indianapolis to its second lowest point total at home this season. The last time the division foes met, the Patriots cruised, 45-3, but the season series is split, 1-1, and since Ryan arrived as Jets coach the series is tied, 2-2.
"It's going to be tough football," Revis said. "They embarrassed us last time so this is our chance to prove again to the world that we have another chance to go back at these guys and get a win."