The defense of the New York Jets amazed in their 20-7 upset over the Indianapolis Colts Monday night. It’s astounding what a difference a season can make, as a rebuilt secondary (CB Darrelle Revis, CB Antonio Cromartie, CB Buster Skrine, SS Marcus Gilchrist were all added as free agents over the off season) and a new head coach (Todd Bowles) have revitalized the defense completely.
Although there are many elements that have contributed to the early success of the Jets defense, there is one star that shines brighter than the others. Revis, who was reunited with the team after signing a 5 year/$70 million contract in the off season, has so far earned every penny of his paycheck.
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Revis, one week removed from a solid performance against the Browns (recovered fumble), was absolutely dominant against the Colts.
He shut down the No. 1 wide receiver of the Colts in T.Y. Hilton for most of the game. This was particularly evident late in the first quarter, when Revis helped force an incompletion in the end zone on a third down play. The Jets early 7-0 lead was preserved after a missed field goal by Adam Vinatieri.
As the game progressed, Revis gave Jets fans plenty of more reasons to cheer. The star cornerback recorded an interception and two fumble recoveries. And Hilton was limited to 4 catches for 45 yards before departing in the 4th quarter with a knee injury.
Before the season began, many analysts and experts questioned the wisdom of giving a cornerback quarterback kind of money. For a Jets team that lacks an elite quarterback or offense, the Revis signing was both shrewd and necessary.
Bowles runs one of the most aggressive defensive schemes in the NFL. As defensive coordinator with the Cardinals last season, Bowles blitzed on over 40% of all defensive plays. Since joining the Jets, he has continued this trend. In order for the Jets to succeed in this system, it is imperative that they have a strong secondary.
Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs past New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
By single-handedly shutting down the opposition’s best receiver week after week, Revis has so far been the key note piece of Bowles’ suffocating defense. He is the quarterback of this defense, the straw that stirs the whole drink.
As the lights dimmed Monday night at Lucas Oil Stadium, there was one star that still burned brightly. As long as the future Hall of Famer continues to shine on the big stage, Jets fans should be excited about this team’s potential as the season progresses.