Darrelle Revis' Injury Is a Blessing in Disguise for the New York Jets
I've been a Jets fan for more than a decade and can say without any hesitation that Darrelle Revis is the best player I've ever rooted for. That includes a hobbled but still slingin' Brett Favre. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that at his current pace, Darrelle Revis wasn't just going to be the greatest Jet of all time, he was going to be the greatest cornerback of all time.
Without Revis the 2012 season is over for the Jets. Without Revis 6-10 is around where the Jets will end up. All the team, the fans and the city can hope for now is a speedy recovery.
So why is this a blessing in disguise for the Jets? Because without Revis the rest of the roster will be exposed.
Revis locks down half of the field, and because of that Rex Ryan can create all sorts of matchup problems and creative blitzes. With Kyle Wilson replacing Revis, offenses won't be afraid to throw anywhere.
Wilson and Antonio Cromartie will have to earn their paychecks without Revis protecting them. If either or both of them fail then they'll simply be shown the door at the end of the season. Now we'll see how good they really are.
Without Revis to protect them in coverage, safeties Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry will have to prove that they are all-around players. It won't matter how hard they can hit somebody if they can't catch them.
Without Revis to take away the threat of the passing game the defensive line and linebackers won't be able to crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run.
The entire defense will be tested. The players who deserve to stick around will swim, those who don't will sink now that Revis isn't around to save them.
If the defense is truly exposed then the offense will have to carry the team. Not for a week, or a month, but for the entire season.
For the first time we'll get a real test of whether or not Mark Sanchez can truly be this team's quarterback. He won't be able to hide behind a great defense and a great running game.
The running game is no longer even decent. The Jets are 17th in the league so far in rushing yards per game, but 29th in average yards per carry with 3.3. Like Sanchez, Shonn Greene will have to stop living off of reputation and actually occasionally make a play.
And honestly, I think they'll both fail. Miserably. The difference is that this year, unlike in years past, they won't be winning games. Rex and Mike Tannenbaum will actually see that they need to be replaced.
Maybe I'm wrong, in fact if I am it would be great news for the team. It would mean that they've finally found a true leader for the offense.
The 2012 Jets were never going to win the Super Bowl. It just wasn't going to happen as the offense is too lethargic, the defense was too Revis-centric and Rex refused to actually overhaul his sorry excuse for an offense.
But the 2013 Jets? Now there's potential. Now the dead weight will actually be cut without Revis to protect them.
The offense will either be exposed as what it has always been or forced to evolve into what it has the potential to be. If it's the former we might be rooting for Matt Barkley, Geno Smith or Tyler Wilson next year.
If it's the latter? The 2013 Jets might just be hosting a Super Bowl.
Either way, an overhaul of the roster was necessary, as was an overhaul of the team's attitude. It's not 2010 anymore. The Jets and Rex Ryan still play with an unwarranted swagger and attitude that a Revis-less season might just fix.
I hate that Darrelle Revis got hurt. It couldn't have happened to a less deserving player. For all I know I might just be rationalizing. But who knows, last year Peyton Manning got hurt and handed the Colts Andrew Luck on a silver platter. Maybe the Jets can be just as lucky.
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