Monday, September 3, 2012
Steve Johnson at home on Revis Island?
By James Walker
Styles make for good matchups in the NFL. And, for whatever reason, Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills has been one of the few receivers to give New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis trouble.
This is a key battle to watch in Sunday’s AFC East showdown between the Bills and Jets. In four career starts against New York, Johnson has caught 19 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns while matching up mostly against Revis. Johnson’s numbers improved against Revis in 2011 compared to 2010. Can Johnson do even better against Revis in 2012?
New York is a blitz-heavy team that plays a lot of man-to-man defense. Having Revis and fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie allows the Jets to pressure teams and still cover well on the back end. The Jets like their chances with Revis against any receiver. So expect Revis and Johnson to go head-to-head a lot in this game.
Johnson doesn't have elite speed, but he is a solid route-runner who can make tough catches. Several of his receptions against Revis last year were in tight coverage.
Some Bills fans in the AFC East blog have gone as far to say "Johnson owns Revis." That's a stretch. But Johnson has done relatively well against Revis compared to other receivers. Hearing this, expect Revis to be very motivated to shut down Johnson.
But if Johnson is able to continue his success on Revis Island, it could be a big key to Buffalo winning on the road Sunday at MetLife Stadium.