A stud corner can have a huge impact on an NFL game.
Last week, Tracy Porter proved the point. Despite getting burnt by Mike Wallace for a touchdown on a perfect strike from Big Ben, Porter had the last laugh, intercepting Roethlisberger to end the competitive phase on opening Sunday.
Before his critical pick, Porter also deflected a low trajectory pass intended for Heath Miller that would have resulted in a Steelers touchdown, kept pace down the field with Mike Wallace on a deep pass along the left sideline (when the corner times his leap perfectly to deflect the attempt away from the waiting Wallace) and defended a pair of other passes that included another near-interception.
For the Jets, Darrelle Revis is that type of impact player- and then some. This Sunday, lacking Revis could spell D-O-O-M for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets... My loyalty will not allow me to finish the chant.
When a player is absent, his presence isn't the only subtraction from the team. The effect of his injury matriculates down the lineup. The second corner now faces the opponents' best pass catcher. A nickel or dime back is often asked to tackle a starter's assignment. And at least one defensive back accustomed to watching the action gets playing time.
For New York, Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant as the fourth and fifth cornerbacks, but they will fulfill the role of third and fourth cornerbacks this week. In other words, Revis' absence may not merely showcase itself with a big play by Mike Wallace or Antonio Brown. The ripple effect could just as easily benefit Jericho Cotchery or Emmanuel Sanders, two terrifying presences from the slot.
Being asked to step up on the outside, likely against Antonio Brown, will be Kyle Wilson. For the Jets to have success, Wilson will have to ready for the limelight in a town that isn't particularly empathetic, despite circumstance.
Wilson's greatest undoing could easily be the uncanny pump fake of Ben Roethlisberger, whose hydraulic hands keep a firm grip on a football that I'm convinced all 31 other starters would drop. If Wilson bites on an apparent pass, Brown or Wallace could find themselves wide open for an early touchdown.
With the secondary universally affected by the loss of its top defensive back, the Jets front seven, particularly the down linemen, will need to step up and get pressure in the backfield.