FOXBORO, Mass. — The Baltimore Ravens weren’t the best playoff matchup for the New England Patriots on paper, but Darrelle Revis can’t be complaining.
The Patriots cornerback has dominated Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith in previous matchups.
Steve Smith has caught just two passes for 21 yards on 10 targets while being guarded by Revis in three previous battles, according to Pro Football Focus. Revis has two inteceptions while matching up against Smith.
Revis and Smith shared a division — the NFC South — last season, while the cornerback played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the receiver was on the Carolina Panthers. Smith caught only one pass for 16 yards on four targets.
Torrey Smith was held catchless on one target against Revis in one matchup in 2011, and Flacco has never completed a pass on the All-Pro corner. Flacco is 0 for 5 while targeting Revis in two games.
Even though Revis has dominated Steve Smith in the past, he still had high praise for the 35-year-old receiver.
“His age is what it is on paper, but he’s still electrifying,” Revis said Wednesday in the Patriots’ locker room. “He’s still an electrifying receiver. He’s still making big plays. He’s very savvy, he’s very smart, and he’s a big-time impact player on their team.”
Revis is expected to match up with Smith on Saturday in the Patriots’ divisional-round playoff game against the Ravens, with fellow starting cornerback Brandon Browner following the bigger, speedier Torrey Smith.
Revis’ goal to stop Steve Smith is simple.
“Just get your hands on him,” Revis said about the shifty veteran. “Study film and try to figure out tendencies and just get your hands on him.”
Stopping “the Smith brothers,” as Revis called them, will be key in beating the Ravens on Saturday. And if past success predicts future production, then Revis could be the X-factor in his first playoff game since January 2011.
Thumbnail photo via Bruce Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images
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