By about noon on Tuesday, I was bracing for a week full of fourth-and-2 talk everywhere I went. I mean, you know a story has taken on a life of it’s own when you flip on NPR, only to find it sounds a little like sports talk radio.
But then Revis stepped in, sparing us all.
There is a war of words brewing between Randy Moss and the Jets cornerback, who deserves props for keeping Moss quiet in the Jets’ Week 2 win over the Patriots. Of course, Randy’s not about to hand them out, instead suggesting that Revis had safety help over the top.
Which he did. But I’ll get to that.
First, after he was held to four catches for 24 yards in that 16-9 loss to the Jets, Moss fired this shot at Revis:
“All week, he’s talking about he’s a shutdown corner. There’s really no shutdown corners in the league because they have help for most of the game. I mean, I probably could play corner if I had [safety Brandon] Meriweather over the top for the whole game. I think I could be a shutdown corner.”
Bill Belichick added to the issue, suggesting that the Jets used over the top help to shut down Moss. This was odd, considering the coach rarely refers to game strategy of any kind unless he’s trying to sell you on a point.
And maybe that was Bill sticking up for Moss. Or maybe he just felt like getting into X’s and O’s — anything that wasn’t fourth-and-2 talk.
Naturally, the topic came up during this week’s media conference call with Revis, who maintained he was in man coverage on Moss.
Which he was. Kind of.
Looking back at the tape of that game, it was clear that the Jets did in fact roll a safety over the top at times to help Revis on Moss. This strategy allows a cornerback to aggressively play the wide receiver, knowing if he makes a play for the ball and misses then a safety will be there to pick him up.
But at other times, it was obvious that Revis did the job in straight-up man coverage.
This whole man coverage debate smacks of pettiness, doesn’t it? This whole thing boils down to a guy (Revis) feeling like he’s not being respected. Which is garbage.
The bottom line here is that Revis is one of the few corners capable of keeping Moss quiet on Sunday, regardless of the Jets’ strategy against him.
This is a rivalry game, and an important one for both teams. And besides, a little trash talking during rivalry week never hurts, does it?
Here’s thinking Revis is gonna want that safety help this week, too.
Four Downs: Jets (4-5) at Patriots (6-3), Sunday, 4:15 p.m.
First Down: Seeing Red. The red zone woes could continue on Sunday for the Patriots, given they enter the game ranked 25th in red zone offense, while the Jets boast a red zone defense that’s tied for fourth overall. Laurence Maroney has touchdowns in each of his last four games, though he coughed up a fifth heading for the goal line against Indy last week.
Second Down: Man up, Darrelle. It wouldn’t be surprising if Revis found a way to keep Moss quiet again. He’s that good — and he’ll have help.
Third Down: Where’s Welker? It’s guaranteed that Jets defenders will be asking that very question at all times on Sunday. Without question, missing Wes Welker the first time around with the Jets did Brady and Moss no favors. The guy is every bit as crucial to the offense as Moss.
Fourth Down: Pass the Kleenex. … Rex Ryan may need it again this Sunday.
Randy Moss: As great as he was in 2007, Moss is on pace to eclipse those numbers (projected 103 catches and 1584 yards) in what is shaping up to be his most productive season as a Patriot. And that’s saying something.
Brett Favre: Still waiting for the Vikings quarterback to turn in one of those three-pick clunkers. And with a relatively soft remaining schedule, we may not see it. Instead, Favre leads all quarterbacks with a 107.5 rating. He’s never finished a season above 99.5 (he has an 86.1 career rating).
Rex Ryan: The Jets head coach diffused a potential disaster over a report that he cried in a team meeting by asking for a box of Kleenex at his next press conference. Nothing like making fun of yourself to get others off your back. Well, that and winning.
Down and Out
Ronnie Brown: Not only is his season-ending injury a hit to the Dolphins, it’s quite the blow to fantasy team More Cowbell (cue rolling eyes).
Brady Quinn: You’re no longer wanted in Cleveland, but you’re a wanted man in the Ravens locker room for diving at Terrell Suggs’ knees on Monday Night Football.
Dick Jauron: Trent Edwards is not even the second coming of a Bills-years Drew Bledsoe, let alone Jim Kelly. The T.O. thing had disaster written all over it. But still, how was this guy fired before Eric Mangini?
(In best Will Ferrell-does-Harry Carey voice): “Hey, Mark Sanchez … have a hot dog.”
If you have the Dolphins Ricky Williams, now might be a good time to start him with Ronnie Brown done for 2009. Wait, what’s that? Miami played a Thursday night game? Oh. Well, start him next week then.