The first day of the NFL’s free agency period has come and past and, thus far, the Jets have yet to make a move. No need to fret, we’ve all heard the children’s parable about the tortoise and the hare before.
Speculation continues to swirl around the Jets, who’ve had a knack for making a splash in free agency in years past, as their name has been linked to everyone from Peyton Manning to Eric Winston to Braylon Edwards. Certainly they are in the market for an offensive lineman of Winston’s caliber and a receiver with a deep-threat game like Edwards, but it was a move that their rival Miami Dolphins made on Tuesday that helped out the Jets.
For two third-round picks the Dolphins sent All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears, all 6’4″ – 230 pounds of him.
Gleeful smirks had to the common facial expression for the Gang Green faithful for a couple of reasons: 1. Moving their big-play receiver may indicate they have given up on their pursuit of Peyton Manning 2. Darrelle Revis’ toughest competition just left the conference.
Many receivers have traveled to Revis Island, few have been able to find their way off it. All-Pro receivers like Vincent Jackson, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Randy Moss (most notably) never passed go and did not receive two-hundred dollars. As long as we’re talking Monopoly, Marshall owns property on Revis Island and has a few condos set up.
In the past two seasons Revis has given up 100+ yards only twice. Both were to Marshall — once on 9/26/10 for 166 yards and again on 10/17/11 for 109 yards.
Revis, a blissful blend of quicks and strength, has had troubles dealing with the physically imposing Marshall, who uses his length to create separation and size to make a play on almost any ball thrown his way. Rex Ryan pridefully allows the 1-on-1 match-up out of respect for Revis’ game — and more often than not, it works wonders. Against Marshall? Well that’s a different story.
In a ProFootballFocus.com article, Revis ranked first in the categories of lowest completion percentage allowed (35 receptions on 85 targets for a 41.2 completion percentage) and opposing QB rating (45.6 — next closest was Asante Samuel’s 52.4). The analysis? Revis doesn’t get thrown to often, but he does it usually doesn’t work out for the opposing team.
Except for Marshall. His two-year totals against Revis goes as follows: 24 receptions/341 yards/2 TDs — good for an average of 6 REC PG/85 YPG/.5 TD/14.1 YPC. Granted those numbers don’t WOW you, but we are talking about Revis here. Remember?
What’s more telling is how much attention that match-up garners throughout the course of the game. In the 10/17 Jets 31-23 victory, Marshall accounted for a third of Miami’s total yards (108 of team’s 308 yards), half of Matt Moore’s passing yards (204) and a third of his completions (16). Of the 34 times Moore dropped back to pass he threw the ball 13 times in direction of Revis on Marshall. Moore knew that, despite Revis, Marshall was his best shot at keeping his team on the field. In the 12/12/10 Dolphins 10-6 victory Marshall accounted for 10 of Chad Henne’s 26 completions while getting targeted nearly half the time Henne dropped back (17 targets to 44 attempts.
The numbers suggest that Revis exerts a lot of energy, perhaps more than usual, when defending against the physically taxing Marshall. Not having to play opposite the UCF-alum twice a year will only help boost the already-stellar play Revis brings to the field.
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