FOXBORO, Mass. — Revis Island was a fun vacation spot for the New England Patriots last season, but now it’s enemy territory again.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis helped the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX, but he’ll arrive at Gillette Stadium on Sunday as a member of the New York Jets, attempting to end his former team’s reign atop the AFC East.
The Patriots are 5-0 and in first place in the division, while Revis’ Jets are a surprising 4-1 thanks in large to their dominant defense, which ranks first in total yards against (second in both passing and rushing yards against). The Jets have allowed a league-leading 60.9 passer rating and just 933 passing yards and six touchdowns in five games.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady knows how difficult it is to face Revis through the cornerback’s previous stint in New York and last season’s practices together in New England.
“There was a lot of competition in practice last year with him, because he makes it tough,” Brady said Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. “His instincts are incredible out there. He’s one of those guys who sees everything on the field. He sees the formations and routes and splits. Anything pre-snap that can help give him an idea of if the ball’s coming his way or if it’s going the other way, whether it’s a run or pass or deep throw or short throw — he’s a very dependable, consistent player.
“He’s been an incredible playmaker since he’s come into the league. He’s one of the top guys every week. I got a first-hand look at that last year everyday in practice. It was great having him a part of here, but he moved on, so now he’s our competition again.”
Those practice reps against Revis can be an advantage for Patriots receivers.
“Yeah, absolutely, the more reps you have against a guy you get, the more you know him, the more experience you have,” Danny Amendola said. “He’s a very instinctive player. He plays at a high level all the time. We’ve played against him before in practice, got some reps, and we know what kind of player he is.”
Brady was asked if he was upset Revis chose to walk in free agency, taking a five-year, $70 million contract to rejoin the Jets.
“That’s kind of NFL football and free agency and stuff like that,” Brady said. “A lot of players switch teams over the years. We’ve had a lot of guys come to our team from that team, and vice versa. I’ve got a lot of respect for that team and the way they play football and how well they’re coached and how well they’re playing this year.”
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images