EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ
Jets CB Darrelle Revis was all smiles after two interceptions and one TD as the Jets defeated the Panthers 17-6 on Sunday. (JetsInsider.com Photo)
- Last week it was Randy Moss. This week it was Steve Smith.
Darrelle Revis was sent into man coverage on both wide receivers, and got the better of both. But it’s something that’s been happening every week, whether the Jets win or lose.
“In my opinion, Darrelle Revis is the best corner in the league,” Ryan said. “If we were having the year we hoped to have, he’d be considered for Defensive Player of the Year. Nobody puts as much on one player as we put on him. Every single week, he has to answer the bell. Not Champ Bailey, not anybody in this league is asked to do what he does.”
Smith had just five yards on one reception against the Jets — no, that’s not a misprint. The ball was intercepted off Smith by Revis on the Panthers’ first drive of the game and Revis returned the ball 67 yards for the first touchdown in the 17-6 win.
“That was a sigh of relief,” Revis said. “It was an easy score right there. It doesn’t get any better than that to start us off.”
The Panthers were in a no-huddle offense and Smith took off down the field when he was supposed to run a slant on the play. The ball hit Smith on the back of the heel and was deflected into Revis’ waiting arms. Revis had another first-half interception as well.
After the lousy day, Smith didn’t feel like talking all that much to reporters. He admitted it was his mistake, and cut off a reporter’s followup question with, ““You don’t play so you don’t understand.”
Now that’s getting under someone’s skin. Revis earned Smith’s respect however.
“At times, I think I ran good routes against him, and at times he did a good job against me,” Smith said. “I have the utmost respect for him. He’s a good, solid, young corner and I think he will continue to do well if he keeps continuing to work the way he is working.”
Smith actually took Revis aside after the game and said basically the same words. Jon Beason, one of the Panthers’ linebackers, was impressed on the sidelines when the Jets defense was in.
“If you get an interception for a touchdown and another interception, that’s an all-pro day right there,” Beason said. “I’ve always been a big fan of his, came out with him. He’s a good dude and he’s been making those types of plays his whole career.”
Next up, the Jets face Buffalo on Thursday and Revis will face Terrell Owens. Revis said he enjoys the challenge of matching up against the most formidable opposing receiver each week.
“I love it. It’s competition,” Revis said. “This is my job and Rex (Ryan) gives me a little freelancing opportunity to go out there and see what I can do as a player.”