The New England Patriots' stance atop the AFC East got stronger Wednesday night as the reigning division champs signed five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. He returns to the AFC East after spending one year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Revis dominated the division during the first six years of his career as a member of the New York Jets and was particularly good against the Dolphins.
So what does this signing mean for Miami? Here are several thoughts:
Revis more than fills the void left behind by cornerback Aqib Talib. Talib signed a large deal with the Denver Broncos. Revis is no longer the best cornerback in football. But he's still in the top two, just behind Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. It's a major task for the Dolphins to face Revis twice per season. These will be big games that could determine the AFC East title, and Revis has a strong track record against Miami. He has four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in nine career games. Last year Revis picked off Tannehill once in Tampa Bay's win over the Dolphins on "Monday Night Football."
There is a strong chance Revis will be matched up with Miami's No. 1 receiver, Mike Wallace, which is a terrific matchup. Revis has few weaknesses. But one area where he can be exposed is against receivers with elite speed. Randy Moss gave Revis trouble early in his career. That is the best chance Wallace and Miami's passing game have to consistently win against Revis.
New England's defense will be getting back Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo from injuries. Add Revis into the mix and you have a formidable defense for head coach Bill Belichick. The Dolphins were 27th in total offense and must find a way to beat New England in order for Miami to make the playoffs. New Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is implementing an aggressive, up-tempo scheme and must be a better playcaller than former offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.