In sports, there is a cliché that says big-time players play their best in the biggest games, or something like that. Whatever the exact verbiage, CB Darrelle Revis is that type of player. Despite the Jets' disappointing result against the Giants, Revis was at his best on Saturday, tallying five pass deflections. It equals the most he has had in any game in his career and is the second-most in a single game in the NFL this season.
"That was one of his better performances," said defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. "We put him in some situations where his over-the-top help was on the other side of the field. With some guys, that would get old. But he's not that way."
Revis Island doesn't refer only to the mythical landscape that swallows up receivers but also to the fact that Revis is purposely left all alone to bottle up opponents' best pass catchers. The fifth-year corner was rewarded with his fourth Pro Bowl nod on Tuesday night.
Revis was announced as the Jets' only starter in Honolulu, but the Island has other, more important things on his mind right now.
"It doesn't really matter," he said today. "I'm just focused on Sunday. I thanked my teammates for helping me out, and I've moved on to Sunday. I think that's the biggest thing, not who made the Pro Bowl."
Although Revis felt the need to thank his teammates for his all-star nod, much of his work on the field is done solo. Nonetheless, he continues to give credit to his teammates and often to his opponents as well. Unfortunately for him, his opponents don't always give him the credit he may deserve.
For example, Miami WR Brandon Marshall said Wednesday that in the Week 6 Jets-Dolphins game, Revis may have escaped a pass interference penalty before intercepting a QB Matt Moore pass and returning it 100 yards for a touchdown.
"My technique could have been better, but I think they gave him the 'Jordan Rule,' " Marshall said on a conference call with Jets reporters. "You get a little too close to Michael Jordan, they are going to call a foul. It works that way in football, too. Some guys you know they are scared to throw the flag on and he may be getting that rule."
In fairness, Marshall did say that there is mutual respect between the two Pittsburgh natives and he considers Revis "one of the best corners in the league right now."
"To speak on the Jordan Rule or whatever you call it — the Kobe Bryant Rule — both sides do things all the time," Revis replied. "One thing that Brandon Marshall does is he pushes off. It's just something in his game I know he does. He's a big receiver. He pushes off sometimes."
Revis pointed out Marshall's propensity for the pushoff simply to illuminate the natural give-and-take that occurs over the course of a 60-minute football game.
"It's just part of the game," said Revis. "It's not just him. A lot of receivers do that. As DBs, we hold. If a referee makes a call, he makes it. There's a lot of holding out there, a lot of pushing off."
In that earlier battle between Marshall and Revis, the Dolphins receiver was targeted 13 times, catching six passes for 109 yards. Conversely, Revis had four pass deflections, including two interceptions and the one touchdown return.
Over the years, the two have developed a friendly rivalry that is showcased twice each season for the entertainment of all football fans. If you haven't watched these two face off, you should tune in on Sunday.
"I think Brandon is by far the most physical receiver in the league," said Revis. "We always have these matchups and it's great. He's a complete receiver. He can catch all the balls and run all the routes."
The rest of the Jets will prepare along with Revis for the must-win game against the Fish on Sunday afternoon. Before today's practice, head coach Rex Ryan gathered the team at midfield and addressed the situation at hand. Revis wouldn't comment on the specifics of the pep talk, only saying that it was "a good speech."
Miami was winless when it visited MetLife Stadium in October. However, these aren't the same Dolphins.
"It's been a turnaround for them in the second half of the season," said Revis. "Reggie Bush is running the train for them now and he's doing great. Matt Moore has improved as well, and their players are coming up with big plays down the field."
And it will be up to Revis once again to stop some of those big plays and even turn one or two around for the Jets on Sunday.