Darrelle Revis is the greatest Jet of all-time
By William Bologna
The tourism rates on Revis Island hit an all-time low in 2016, but Darrelle Revis is still the greatest player to ever take the field for the New York Jets.
The date is September 11, 2011. Its the 10 year anniversary of the worst terrorist attack our nation has ever seen. But come Sunday night, all that matters is New York’s team, the New York Jets, against America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys. A game on 9/11 came with much controversy, but the NFL mandated that the show must go on.
There’s one minute remaining in the fourth quarter and the score is tied 24-24. After the Jets came back from being down 14, Romo and his Cowboys take the field looking to end it all. NBC play-by-play announcer Cris Collinsworth says “Romo, buying time.. throws.. IT’S INTERCEPTED! Intended for Bryant, picked off by Revis! And the Jets have the ball back in Cowboy territory!” After that play, the Jets went on to score a game-winning field goal off the leg of Nick Folk. In that moment, all horrible memories associated with this day went numb, all we cared about was football, all thanks to our beloved Darrelle Revis.
Revis’ Jet career is one that is slightly jaded. Over the course of his career, Revis has been regularly criticized for holdouts and contract disputes. For the first time, in 2016, it was his performance on the field that yielded the criticism. 2016 was certainly a down year for Revis, who is on the back end of his career. While Revis may be to blame for many 2016 woes, Jets fans forget that he’s still the greatest player to ever wear green and white.
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Playoff Runs Brought to you by Revis
In 2009 and 2010, Rex Ryan and his top-ranked Jets defense were a force to be reckoned with. These were the Jets glory days. In back to back seasons, the Jets were one game away from playing in the Super Bowl.
It wasn’t Mark Sanchez‘s quarterbacking abilities that got them there, it was clearly the defense (along with a great offensive line). Not to discredit guys like Antonio Cromartie, David Harris or Bart Scott, but Revis was the staple that held that defense together. Many praised Revis for the unique ability to help his defensive teammates. Not only did Revis lock down the opponent’s top receiver, but he single-handedly shut down his entire side of the field.
Revis Island: The Original Shutdown Corner
There have been many players to create a new role at their position. At safety, Ed Reed was the original “ball-hawk.” For Revis, he and his island became the original “shutdown corner.” Following in his footsteps are guys like Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. Although, NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks argues that there are no true shutdown corners in the game right now. In 2009 alone, star receivers like Randy Moss (twice), Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Dez Bryant, Chad Ochocinco (also twice) and Steve Smith Sr. all got lost on Revis Island after being shut down by him.
In Week 17 against the Bills, Revis made the game-sealing interception in front of a ton of empty seats. That empty stadium erupted as if it were full, reminding the fans who stayed that we still do in fact love Revis. After a rough year, we knew it would be our last time seeing him as a Jet and that struck a chord deep into the hearts of Jets fans.
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Despite a down year at age 31, 10 years from now, we will unanimously consider Revis to be the greatest Jet of all time. To any real Jets fan, hearing Bob Wischusen and Marty Lyons say “picked off by Revis!” is the most nostalgic feeling that could be had from recent Jets history.