New York cornerback Darrelle Revis, who strictly lined up against his opponent's best receiver in 2009, has been used in a slightly different fashion in 2010. Due to an extended holdout and an early-season hamstring injury, the Jets' coaching staff tried to limit the strain on Revis' body. Also, with the acquisition and strong play of cornerback Antonio Cromartie, the Jets have been afforded the luxury of showing multiple looks on defense.
There have been times when Revis has remained on just one side of the field, and there have been other games when he would switch between multiple receivers — like Thanksgiving, for instance, when he split his duties between Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco.
Yet, Patriots opponents know they're at an advantage when they can take Welker out of the offense, and Revis has been better suited to handle Welker one-on-one than Cromartie.
"Rex [Ryan] is a really good game-planning coach," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "I’m sure he’ll set up the matchups however he feels is the best way to defend us. And we won’t know exactly what that is until game time, so we’ll have to be prepared for what we think is going to happen, but also be ready to adjust if they do it differently."
Welker is having his most productive three-game stretch of the season, catching 21 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns, and the Patriots have scored 115 points in that span, which is their highest three-game total of the year.
When Welker is rolling, the Patriots are almost unstoppable on offense, and the Jets have been well-versed in that notion since the start of 2009. The Jets are 1-0 against the Pats with Welker out of the lineup, and he was held to six receptions for 38 yards and one touchdown in the Patriots' loss this season. But Welker had 15 catches for 192 yards in New England's win against the Jets last season.
How the Jets defend Welker on Monday should go a long way in deciding the outcome of the game.
This was the fourth installment of a 10-day series that will highlight 10 reasons to get excited for the Patriots-Jets matchup next Monday night.
Monday: Woody's revenge
Wednesday: Can the Patriots pass the test and beat the Jets?