Darrelle Revis recalls his last head-to-head battle with Wes Welker
|11.10.11 at 2:07 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The matchup between Darrelle Revis and Wes Welker in the first Patriots-Jets game this season was great theatre: arguably the finest wide receiver in the league going up against the best corner.
The two weren’t one-on-one all afternoon, but did spend the majority of the game against each other. Revis was physical with Welker, bumping him and trying to knock him off his routes. Welker responded with a series of jukes and fakes trying to get some separation from the corner. In the end, the two went head-to-head for 42 plays in man coverage, and Welker was able to come up with two catches on three targets for 77 yards when guarded by Revis. (For the game, he ended up with five catches for 126 yards in New England’s 30-21 win over the Jets.)
‘Last game, the matchup was great between Wes [and me],’ Revis said. ‘Sometimes I was throwing him on the ground; sometimes he was catching some balls on me. I call him the ‘Energizer Bunny’ because he never stops ‘ it doesn’t matter what you do to him, he just keeps on coming and coming.’
While Revis was able to get the better of Welker for most of the afternoon when they were one-on-one, Welker was able to come up with one of the biggest plays of the season off the Pro Bowl corner. On the first play of the second half, Welker took advantage of a miscommunication between Revis and safety Eric Smith and managed to get behind the defense. That’s where Tom Brady found him, and it was off to the races. Welker finished with a 73-yard reception, setting up a New England touchdown.
‘It was just a simple route play,’ said Revis, who ended up chasing Welker down from behind on the play to prevent a touchdown. ‘He got on top of me and Wes [Welker] made a good play. That’s just something that we can control over here and I can control in just doing my job.’
The game was a unique experience for Revis — as a premiere corner, playing in the slot isn’t his usual routine. He said his usual approach doesn’t change whether he’s on the outside or in the slot.
‘I try to be as aggressive as I do out when I’m playing corner,’ he said. ‘I think the only thing with that position playing in the slot is a lot of things in there are moving a little bit faster than when you’re playing outside cornerback. It’s a lot of things moving. You have to focus in on the linemen sometimes and what they’re doing and how close you are and how close the slot receiver is to the core. A lot of things when you’re inside as the nickel back, it moves a little bit faster than you are playing outside corner.’
As for the possibility of a rematch with Welker this week, Revis wasn’t going to tip his hand.
‘We’re still putting in the game plan this week for us to try to attack these guys the way we want to,’ Revis said. ‘If I’m on him, I’m on him. If I’m not, then it doesn’t matter ‘ we have confidence in everybody on the Jets.’