Darrelle Revis and the Patriots will meet Oakland on Sunday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Each week, we’ll present The Revis Report, a look at what’s on tap for the Patriots cornerback. This week, New England welcomes the Raiders to Foxboro for the first time since 2005.
Overview: Revis and the Patriots open up their home slate Sunday at one against the Raiders. Oakland is coming into the game with an 0-2 mark, having lost its first two games by scores of 19-14 (at the Jets) and 30-14 (home against the Texans. For Revis, it will be a chance to play a regular-season game in front of a home crowd for the first time with the Patriots, as well as catch up with a few old friends in the Silver and Black.
‘It’s finally here,’ he said when asked about the home opener. ‘I think the team is excited. We’re looking forward to playing in front of our home crowd.
‘I know a lot of guys on that team, so I’m really looking forward to it,’ he added. ‘The Raiders always come to play. We just have to be ready for what they’re going to bring. They’re 0-2 right now, and I’m sure they’re searching for a win coming off 0-2. We know they’ll be ready — we just have to be focused and make sure we don’t let one slip away at home.’
Last week: Per NFL gamebooks, Revis played 58 of a possible 66 defensive snaps on Sunday against the Vikings. (In terms of overall snaps, he played 88 percent, which was tied with Devin McCourty for highest playtime percentage among the defensive backs. Logan Ryan was first with 66 snaps.) While he was utilized mostly on one side in the preseason, as well as the opener against the Dolphins, last Sunday against Minnesota, it was mostly Greg Jennings. (He told the CBS broadcast crew the night before the game that he was going to be matched up against Jennings for most of the afternoon.) The nine-year veteran caught just one pass for 4 yards (in the fourth quarter) on four targets while matched against Revis. By the looks of the All-22 film, Revis did not allow another catch to any of the other receivers he was against, either in man or zone coverage. (It was a group that included Cordarelle Patterson.)
Perhaps the highlight of the year to this point for Revis came when he picked off Matt Cassel for his first interception of the season. With just over 13 minutes left in the second quarter and the Patriots holding a 10-7 lead, Cassel and the Vikings faced a 2nd and 10 situation at their own 38. The
Vikings quarterback dropped back and fired a pass deep down the right side for Jennings, only to see it picked off. It was the 22nd career pick for Revis, and New England quickly cashed it in — seven plays later, Tom Brady found Julian Edelman for a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-7, giving the Patriots a double digit lead they would enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
Including what he yielded in Week 1, to this point in the season — when matched in man coverage — Revis has yielded three catches on nine targets for 40 yards, with one interception and three pass breakups.
Possible man matchups this week (with the understanding that it won’t be solely one-on-one): This week, it appears likely that the primary candidate for Revis Island will be veteran receiver James Jones. Called a ‘savvy vet’ by the Patriots corner on Thursday, the 30-year-old Jones is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound presence out of San Jose State who is in his first season with Oakland after spending the last seven in Green Bay. A solid combination of size and speed, his performance last week likely moved him to (or at least near) the top of the wide receiver depth chart in Oakland.
After being held to three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown in the opener against the Jets, Jones had an impressive afternoon last week against the Texans when he had nine catches for 112 yards and a touchdown (although he did fumble three times in the loss, losing one of them).
Jones and Carr have developed a nice chemistry with each other — Jones, who caught passes from Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay for six years, says he compares favorably to the Packers‘ quarterback.
‘He’s really calm, really cool in the pocket,’ Jones told the San Francisco Chronicle in September when asked about Carr ‘He acts like he’s been there before. I’ve been calling him mini A-Rod since he got here.’
In one career game against the Patriots — the 2010 contest best known for Dan Connolly‘s impression of Devin Hester — Jones had five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown while with the Packers. Jones’ one career game against a Revis-led defense came in 2010, when he had zero catches on six targets in a 9-0 Green Bay win. (While there’s no way to be 100 percent sure, it’s likely that Revis spent the bulk of that contest matched up on Jennings, who was with the Packers that afternoon and was probably the closest thing that Green Bay team had to a No. 1 receiver that week. He ended with six catches on 12 targets for 81 yards.)
Money quotes: ‘Their receiver corps, they have [Denarius] Moore, who’s very fast. I’ve played against him in the past. Him, you have to watch him at all times on the deep routes. [Rod] Streeter — we don’t know, but we’ll figure that out. Then you’ve got James Jones, the savvy vet. We feel like we give them a lot of respect, their receiving corps. We’re just looking forward to the matchup and covering those guys. Like we said, there’s not a lot of material on Carr. We just have to focus on what we know about Jones, Moore and Streeter.’ — Revis on the Oakland receivers
‘Darrelle is obviously one of the best players in football. The guy is phenomenal at what he does. I have nothing but respect for the guy. My plan is just to continue to watch film, continue to see what I need to do within our game plan and I’ll go from there. But I have nothing but respect for the guy. He’s one of the best — not corners, best players — in the game.’ — Carr on Revis
One more thing: Revis took his first penalty of the season last week against the Vikings, picking up a defensive holding penalty on the second play from scrimmage in the second quarter. (It was one of 15 penalties whistled on the Patriots on the afternoon.) It marked just the sixth penalty against Revis since the start of the 2010 season, who has become quite skilled at avoiding flags. According to Pro Football Focus, Revis was only one of two corners in the league last season who played at least 900 snaps and had just one penalty. (Chicago’s Tim Jennings was the other.) According to nflpenalties.com, Revis didn’t take one in 2012 (mainly because he only played two games before going down with a season-ending knee injury.) He had three (one declined) in 2011, and just one (with one declined) in 2010. In all, he’s played nearly 100 percent of the snaps in 2013, 2011 and 2010, and had just five penalties to show for it in that time.