Darrelle Revis hadn't played up to the form that helped him create "Revis Island" because of a nagging hamstring injury. But in Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Lions, the fourth-year cornerback held Calvin "Megatron" Johnson to one catch for 13 yards.
"I think it might have been the toughest match for me just because of how big Calvin is," Revis said on a conference call with Jets reporters Monday. "The guy could be playing in the NBA by how tall he is and how big his body is. He's a very physical guy. Like I said yesterday, I think he's a top-3 or top-5 and he doesn't get as much credit as he should."
Johnson, a Georgia Tech standout, is 6'5" and 236 pounds, massive for a wide receiver in the NFL, and was the second overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Coming into the game, he had 38 receptions for 538 yards and eight touchdowns, and he seemed to beat the All-Pro defensive back out of the University of Pittsburgh a couple times early on in the game. That is, until Revis changed up his strategy from what he had originally planned before the game.
"This guy is a totally different guy," Revis said. "This guy is very fast, he's very strong — the strongest receiver I've had to face. During the game I had to adjust my game plan when I press to kind of feather over top of him and be a little soft and not be as aggressive on him because jamming him at the line, the guy is so strong, at the beginning of the game, a couple of times he kind of pushed me out of the way when he was running his route. So I had to just adjust a little bit and feather over top of him and make sure he didn't get behind me."
The two-time Pro Bowl defender had three tackles and three pass defenses as the Jets defense held on just long enough to seal the victory against the Lions, moving the team to a perfect 4-0 mark on the road. At the midway point of the season, the Jets already have two come-from-behind victories and have sealed four wins by forcing game-ending turnovers. Last season the Green & White struggled at times to close games out and take over in the final minutes.
"I think the coaching staff really just preached about finishing games out," Revis said. "Last year we struggled with that and we couldn't finish games out in the fourth quarter. You could tell it's been different with us in the fourth quarter finishing out plays and making sure we're not making any mistakes or errors in the fourth quarter."
At 6-2 and back atop the AFC East, the Jets are happy with their position heading into the grueling months of November and December. They did, however, have 11 penalties for 99 yards, fumbled the ball five times, losing one, and also threw an interception. Those woes, combined with the shutout they suffered against the Packers, have the lockdown corner hopeful that improvement is ahead.
"I don't think we've played our best football yet," Revis said. "Even the last game, yesterday's game, we made a lot of mistakes and we have to clean things up. Also we just have to be more consistent in what we do on both sides of the ball. I think the best is yet to come."
In the NFL there's no time to reflect on a thrilling victory or a difficult loss, and this week the Jets will head right back out to the Rust Belt to face the Browns in Cleveland. When they line up on Sunday, they'll be facing a number of former teammates plus head coach Eric Mangini, who was at the Jets' helm from 2006-08.
"I haven't watched film on those guys yet so I don't know what they do," Revis said. "I'll get into it this week and we'll see. There's no hatred with us as the New York Jets organization. When Mangini was here, he was a smart guy, he did all he could, and now he's in a different place, he's in Cleveland coaching now. So I'm sure he's looking forward to this game and I'm sure after the game guys will go across to him and just see how he's been."