Sunday, October 23, 2011
Updated: October 24, 8:29 AM ET
Jets' Revis can't stop making big plays
By Jane McManus
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Darrelle Revis might want to start taking reps with the New York Jets' wide receivers, because for the second straight week the cornerback has been gaining big yards for his team.
"I might need to put that in my game because I don't practice that," Revis said. "I just try to let my athletic ability take over."
Revis had another interception for the Jets in their 27-21 win over the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium. His 64-yard return brought the Jets to the Chargers' 19-yard line and led to Plaxico Burress' third touchdown catch of the day -- and the Jets' first lead of the game.
"I don't know why offenses throw his way, because all he does is make plays," Donald Strickland said. "I guess one day they'll learn that's why it's Revis Island."
Even second-year corner Kyle Wilson, who also had an interception for the Jets, said he was just emulating the man he trained with over the summer.
"I was hoping to get to the end zone, trying to be like Rev' over there," said Wilson, gesturing two lockers down to Revis putting on his jacket.
But the Jets' win wasn't just about one piece of the defense. There were a few things that went right, whether it was fixing the issue on third down or compensating for injuries to Mike DeVito, Kenrick Ellis or David Harris.
"The first half wasn't great and the second half was probably the best football we've played," linebacker Calvin Pace said.
Several defensive players said there weren't a lot of adjustments made in the second half, but instead communication improved and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's schemes to confuse Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers began working. The Chargers gained a first down just once in seven third-down tries in the second half, and never scored again.
"I told the defense we just need to calm down a little bit, do what we're taught to do and do your job," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "There was no panic. There was no chewing anybody out."
In the first quarter, Ellis went out with an ankle injury. He was starting for Mike DeVito, who sprained his MCL on Thursday in practice. Harris was briefly out with an ankle injury but returned. DeVito said he will be ready to go by the game against the Buffalo Bills. Pace said the younger players like Ellis and Muhammad Wilkerson created some challenges for the defense.
"They're coming along, but it's a work in progress," Pace said. "I think this week off is going to do us good."
Revis said his interception came on a play during which the defense showed Rivers man coverage, but then shifted into a zone scheme. Chargers wideout Vincent Jackson couldn't grab a ball thrown slightly behind him and Revis caught the carom. Revis thought he would have found the end zone if he could have juked Rivers at the end.
"I should have cut back like I did last week," Revis said.
That's four times when Revis has had interceptions in back-to-back games, two weeks and two crucial plays from Revis that changed the tenor of the game. His four interceptions this season have generated 184 return yards. Pace said he is always surprised to see quarterbacks think they can beat him.
"I guess you got to try him," Pace said. "You've got to go at him a couple times to see if you catch him napping, but most the time they don't. Hopefully the memo gets out to say don't throw at 24. He makes plays and that's why he's the best corner."