Monday, January 18, 2010

Afterthoughts: MMQB

Straight from the horse's mouth. Of course, that horse is really a jackass. Except today, for some reason.

More "escaped inmates" on Revis Island this weekend.

A cornerback can’t play much better than Darrelle Revis did Sunday.
“We’ve got a ton of respect for Revis,” Philip Rivers told me Friday at the Chargers’ training facility, “but we’re not going to avoid him. We’ll take some shots at him.”

Oh really? Rivers went back to pass 45 times (40 passes, two sacks, three runs after being chased from the pocket), and I charted Revis’ coverage pattern on every one of Rivers’ pass-drops. By my count, Rivers threw four passes into the zone where Revis had primary coverage, or to the man Revis was playing man-to-man. One was complete, to LaDainian Tomlinson, for a loss of four yards. One, to Legadu Naanee, was batted down by a diving Revis on a cross route. One, to Vincent Jackson, a deep pass up the left seam, was overthrown, with Revis and Jackson running stride for stride. And the fourth, to Jackson, was up for grabs between the two, with Revis coming down with a juggled ball for an interception in a spectacular play.

Four times Rivers went at Revis in 45 pass calls. One completion, for minus-four. One interception. You cannot play the position better than Revis played it Sunday. I don’t care if you’re Deion Sanders or Night Train Lane. Revis put on a clinic, a masterful display of clinging coverage and bump-and-run when the situation called for it.
“We were playing a lot of man coverage on his side regardless who the receiver was,”Rex Ryan said, “and on the other side we were running some loaded zones and mixes and things like that. He had the tough guy most of the time.”

I told Revis the numbers in the tunnel after the game, just before he boarded the team buses for the airport. “I guess they gave me a lot of respect. It’s my job, to cover guys, and I hope I do it pretty well.”

More than pretty well.

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