It’s nearly impossible for New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis to live up to the lofty expectations he set for himself.
As Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo astutely pointed out on Twitter, the 2014 version of Revis has his 2009 counterpart to blame for any criticism he has garnered through three games.
[tweet https://twitter.com/PFF_Steve/status/514499073484005376 align=center]
Some in the Boston media, and among the Patriots fan base, already have declared Revis a disappointment. He has allowed eight receptions on 16 targets for 103 yards and one touchdown with one interception. That’s a 50 percent completion percentage, 6.44 yards per attempt and a 65.4 passer rating. I don’t think many quarterbacks would be happy with those numbers spread out through a full season.
PFF’s Sam Monson named Revis as one of five players who has “regressed” this season in a piece for ESPN.com, based on PFF’s player ratings. Revis’ numbers might not look quite as island-y as usual, but that can be blamed more on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick than the All-Pro cornerback, who has been forced into a less aggressive style of play that includes off-man and zone coverage.
Revis and the entire Patriots’ defense have been tasked to allow fewer big plays this season, and they have been successful, allowing just six plays over 20 yards on the season. The Patriots’ defense is all about “doing your job,” and Revis has done just that.
Perhaps Revis will be able to go back to his lockdown ways once the Patriots’ defense jells, is allowed to blitz more and can be trusted to protect the top of the field while staying in man coverage.
With that out of the way, let’s get into this week’s mailbag:
@DougKyedNESN who do you anticipate being the odd WR out Monday? Thompkins, Dobson or LaFell?
It was Aaron Dobson in Week 1, Kenbrell Thompkins in Week 2 and Aaron Dobson again in Week 3. I’m sensing a pattern, so I’m going to go with Thompkins again in Week 4.
I think it’s time for the Patriots to decide on a second starting wide receiver opposite Julian Edelman, and it’s looking more and more like that will be Brandon LaFell. I think Dobson offers a different skill set than Edelman, LaFell or Danny Amendola, and they need to see what they have in the 2013 second-round draft pick as a third or fourth option.
Since Edelman, LaFell and Thompkins can play the slot, there’s always the possibility that Amendola could be the odd man out, but he’s also the backup punt returner, and Belichick obviously values special teams highly.
@DougKyedNESN What’s the most radical preparatory change you think NE makes this week as opposed to last week?
This is a great question, and I think they do need to throw out a new wrinkle this week, since the Cincinnati Bengals have 14 days to prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Patriots, while New England will have just six days.
I think it’s possible that the Patriots decide to stick with one defensive alignment for the majority of Monday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. A 4-3 would make the most sense with nose tackle Sealver Siliga out. That would allow Vince Wilfork to play the one-technique nose tackle and Chris Jones, Dominique Easley and Joe Vellano to rotate at three-technique defensive tackle.
It will be interesting to see what the Patriots do with Jamie Collins as he continues to recover from a thigh injury. They took him off the field on third downs last week, and that seems to be a waste of his skills as a pass defender. We might not see Collins return to a full share of snaps until next Sunday night, however.
@DougKyedNESN why does Tom Brady insist on throwing the ball to his best receivers?
Seriously! How dare he throw to his No. 1 and 2 options more than Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
It’s not like every other quarterback in the league does that or anything! (Oh wait, they do.)
@DougKyedNESN Can the OL get to a place where its at least average?
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet. I think they can get to a place of being mediocre, and that’s a slight improvement.
It’s odd that the Patriots haven’t used more of a rotation on the offensive line. I think Josh Kline deserves to see some snaps at left guard, and it couldn’t hurt to try Cameron Fleming at right guard.
Since Ryan Wendell is back to full health, I think he starts at center this week, pushing Dan Connolly to guard and Jordan Devey off the starting line, and I believe we’ll see an improvement.
@DougKyedNESN Coke or Pepsi?
I’m a diet guy, and I prefer Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi or Coke Zero. Back when I drank regular soda, I prefered Pepsi over Coke. I’m a real weirdo.
@DougKyedNESN – So far, Who are your Patriots Offensive & Defensive MVPs & on the flipside who have been the most disappointing players?
My offensive MVP is Edelman and my defensive MVP is linebacker Dont’a Hightower. No one really comes close to Edelman as far as offensive MVP goes, and edge rusher Chandler Jones is No. 2 to Hightower, though Wilfork, linebacker Jerod Mayo and safety Devin McCourty have been great, too.
I’d say the most disappointing offensive player has been left tackle Nate Solder, though he should improve as the season goes along, and he becomes more comfortable. I’m not sure why he’s been struggling, but he needs to start locking down Brady’s blind side.
There haven’t been many disappointing defensive players, so I guess I’d have to go with Easley, though his struggles are completely logical. He hasn’t played football since last September, didn’t have a full training camp, didn’t suit up in the preseason and is coming off a serious knee injury. Easley has struggled to get off blocks in his first three games, and he’s being pushed around a little it in the run game.
He’ll improve as he’s able to tack on more strength and grows accustomed to the pro game.