Is New York Jets Cornerback Darrelle Revis Past His Prime?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 23:  Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets celebrates a fourth quarter interception against the San Diego Chargers at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Darrelle Revis is going home.

No, Revis isn't returning to where he was born to sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's not returning to his most recent home in Boston, where he played for the New England Patriots.

Instead, Revis is returning to the New York Jets, the team who originally drafted him to the NFL.

Revis didn't spend long on the open market before his agents announced that he was expected to return to the Jets. It's not hard to see why Revis didn't stay available for too long. According to Dom Cosentino of NJ.com, Revis has been guaranteed $39 million on his five-year contract that could see him earn $70 million in total.

It's widely accepted that Revis is one of the very best defensive players in the NFL. The argument for the best cornerback in the NFL exists only between him and Richard Sherman.

At some point in the near future, Revis will enter the Hall of Fame, likely as a first-ballot vote. He just played a crucial role in the New England Patriots' journey to their fourth Super Bowl victory under Bill Belichick's tenure. All the signs suggest that the Jets are getting a dominant defensive back.

Yet, at 29 years of age, with a recent torn ACL, there is real reason to be skeptical about Revis' future worth on this type of contract.

Most defensive back analysis that you will find is lazy. It will solely be based on the opposing receivers' numbers. More strenuous analysis will look at all of the times the cornerback was targeted in coverage. Those methods of judging a cornerback's play only give you a look at a part of the whole picture.

To truly judge cornerback play, you must look at every single snap the receiver plays. Numbers and targets can't account for how often a cornerback is beaten in coverage when the ball doesn't get thrown his way.

A few years ago, the website Pre Snap Reads introduced a new method of analyzing NFL cornerbacks. Pre Snap Reads new method was designed to be exhaustive. It would analyze every single coverage snap that a specific cornerback spent on the field, while using analytics and tape analysis to provide context.

This analysis method will create the best possible picture of what kind of player Revis is at this stage of his career.

 

Explaining the Process

Qualifying Plays

Plays that count:

  • Every snap that has the cornerback in man coverage no matter where the ball is thrown.
  • The above includes sacks, quarterback scrambles and plays where the defensive back has safety help.
  • Every snap in zone coverage where a one-on-one situation is naturally created. For example, a sideline route from a wide receiver who lined up directly across from the cornerback when that cornerback is covering the deep third in Cover-3.

Plays that don’t count:

  • Screen plays. Even if the receiver isn’t part of the screen, these plays do not count.
  • Plays where either the receiver or cornerback doesn’t follow through his whole assignment.
  • Zone plays that don't create one-on-one situations. Any ambiguity in this area will disqualify a play.
  • Any prevent coverage situations.
  • Receptions in the flat without a route run.
  • Running plays, including designed quarterback runs.

 

Failed Coverages

The ball does not have to be thrown in the defensive back’s direction for the coverage to fail. This is NOT an analysis of how many completions the cornerback allowedthat can be found elsewherethis is an analysis of how good his coverage is on any given play.

Failed coverages can come at any point of the route, but it is subjective to where the players are on the field in relation to the quarterback. Typically, defensive backs must be within arm's reach for underneath/intermediate routes. On deeper passes, there is greater leeway given to the defender.

Failed coverages can be subjective. They must be determined by the situation considering the length of the play and other such variables.

 

Shutdown

This category is reserved for those plays when receivers would have to make superhuman catches to beat the coverage. The best example of this is when receivers line up wide and try to run down the sideline, but the defensive back gradually guides them toward the sideline, suffocating the space they have in which to catch the football. If a receiver is on the white sideline, he is shut down.

 

In Position

This is the opposite of a failed coverage. In order to be "In Position," a defensive back has to be in a position to prevent a relatively well-thrown pass to his assignment.

 

Denis Poroy/Associated Press

Individual Matchups

This section tracks how Revis performed against individual receivers throughout the 2014 season. Only receivers with at least four qualifying snaps against Revis were included on the chart.

No.Wide ReceiverSucessful Snaps v Total SnapsSuccess Rate
1.Brian Hartline5/5100.00%
2.Reggie Wayne20/2483.00%
3.Hakeem Nicks5/683.00%
4.Randall Cobb9/1182.00%
5.Eric Decker23/2979.00%
6.Golden Tate18/2378.00%
7.A.J. Green14/1878.00%
8.Emmanuel Sanders7/978.00%
9.Donte Moncrief10/1377.00%
10.Steve Smith16/2176.00%
11.Keenan Allen15/2075.00%
12.Demaryius Thomas12/1675.00%
13.Jordy Nelson6/875.00%
14.Greg Jennings14/1974.00%
15.Percy Harvin5/771.00%
16.Sammy Watkins19/2770.00%
17.Brandon Marshall7/1070.00%
18.James Jones7/1164.00%
19.Mike Wallace9/1560.00%
20.Dwayne Bowe5/956.00%
21.Doug Baldwin9/1753.00%
22.Jarvis Landry5/1050.00%
23.Brandon Gibson1/425.00%
Analytical Analysis Through NFL.com

 

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Weekly Breakdown

This section breaks down Revis’ season on a game-by-game basis.

 

Week 1: Miami Dolphins

  • Total qualifying plays: 14
  • Failed coverages: 5
  • Shutdowns: 1
  • In position: 8

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace is far from one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Still, he does always cause Revis problems because of his specific traits. Wallace's success is primarily built on his straight-line speed, and Revis can't match up to that.

The impact of Wallace's speed could be seen on two consecutive plays in the second quarter of this game.

Credit: NFL.com

For the first play, Wallace lines up wide of the numbers on the right side of the Dolphins offense. Revis is lined up across from him before the snap. He drops into an off-coverage position in time to set his feet and look toward the quarterback at the snap.

As Wallace releases into his route, Revis backpedals. Typically from this position, Revis will backpedal but keep his hips facing forward. Instead, because of Wallace's speed, Revis turns his hips early.

Wallace is only seven yards downfield when he begins to stop his route. It takes him a few paces to stop, but because Revis has already turned his hips, it doesn't matter. Wallace is wide open on a curl route for what would have been a first down with a relatively well-timed pass.

Ryan Tannehill threw the ball to Brian Hartline on the other side of the field instead.

Credit: NFL.com

For the following play, Revis lines up in a similar position across from Wallace. This alignment is coming on 1st-and-10, such is the threat of Wallace's speed.

Credit: NFL.com

After giving up the easy curl route on the previous play, it's no surprise that Revis is much more careful with his footwork on this play. Instead of turning too early, Revis holds his hips and keeps his eyes trained on Wallace until the receiver passes the first-down marker.

Once he gets to the first-down marker, Wallace stops for a moment as if he is going to enter a break in his route toward the sideline.

Credit: NFL.com

Because Revis is so far away from Wallace and because his hips have begun to turn upfield, he has to aggressively respond to Wallace's movement. This causes him plant his left foot and push toward the sideline as Wallace accelerates downfield.

Recovering from this position is essentially impossible against Wallace. Revis' only hope is to cut him off by getting in front of him before he gets clean to the sideline.

Credit: NFL.com

This time, Tannehill does throw the ball to Wallace, but the receiver is incapable of catching the ball as he falls over his own feet. Even though Wallace didn't make the play on the ball, he did create four yards of separation behind Revis with his route.

Revis has always been much quicker than fast, so when put in this kind of situation, he typically needs to be begin the play tighter to the receiver. Against Wallace, that is always an aggressive strategy.

 

Week 2: Minnesota Vikings

  • Total qualifying plays: 22
  • Failed coverages: 6
  • Shutdowns: 1
  • In position: 15

Revis spent most of this game following Greg Jennings around the field. Sixteen of his qualifying snaps against Jennings came in the slot. When working from the slot, a greater focus is put on a defensive back's ability to move laterally and show off quick, balanced footwork.

His first interception of the season came in this game when Jennings tried to run a deep out route from the slot.

Credit: NFL.com

Matt Cassel eventually threw the ball straight to Revis because the cornerback ran the route for Jennings. Jennings stopped in his route because of how Revis mirrored him through his break. The veteran receiver knew as soon as he came out of his break that he wouldn't be getting open.

As the above image details, Revis' feet were exceptionally quick and precise to react to and move with Jennings before breaking on the football.

This is the kind of footwork, fluidity, balance and quickness that has always stood out with Revis and has made him so effective in man coverage. It's also the type of play that allows him to comfortably move from the boundary into the slot.

 

Week 3: Oakland Raiders

  • Total qualifying plays: 17
  • Failed coverages: 6
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 11

As you would expect against this group of receivers, Revis primarily spent his time covering veteran James Jones. Jones was surprisingly able to lose the cornerback laterally on two routes from the slot and on two vertical routes when lined up outside the numbers.

 

Week 4: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Total qualifying plays: 10
  • Failed coverages: 4
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 6

Dwayne Bowe has always been a problematic receiver for Revis to cover (individual matchups are inverted in this article). Bowe and Steve Johnson, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, didn't dominate Revis, but each made him struggle significantly.

While Johnson always used his quickness and unorthodox movement to create space against Revis. Bowe attacked the cornerback differently. Bowe relied on his strength and well-rounded athleticism to create separation against Revis through breaks.

Standing at 5'11" and roughly 200 pounds, it's no surprise that Revis can struggle in this way. It's actually more notable how rarely he struggles against bigger receivers. Bowe simply has the right mixture of traits to get the better of him.

 

Week 5: Cincinnati Bengals

  • Total qualifying plays: 18
  • Failed coverages: 4
  • Shutdowns: 2
  • In position: 12

Week 5 offered the Patriots their first glimpse at Revis Island.

A.J. Green was the only receiver to register a qualifying snap against the cornerback, and Revis repeatedly suffocated his space. The Bengals moved Green around in the hope of getting him a matchup advantage, but Revis followed him all over.

Although Green is bigger than Revis, both players' strengths match up in favor of the defensive back. Both players primarily rely on their feet and fluidity to be effective. This meant that Revis was able to contain Green when he attempted to run a variety of routes to create space.

Only once did Green come free down the sideline. That play came on one of just three plays when Revis lined up in off coverage instead of press.

 

Week 6: Buffalo Bills

  • Total qualifying plays: 22
  • Failed coverages: 7
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 15

Sammy Watkins had a muted rookie season, but that wasn't because of his talent. The Buffalo Bills wide receiver dealt with injury and quarterback issues, but he repeatedly showed off why he was a favorite prospect of many leading up to the 2014 draft.

Watkins showed off advanced route-running ability for a player who was considered raw coming out of college. This made him a much greater challenge to Revis than the veteran cornerback would have expected.

The rookie also highlighted a major issue with Revis in 2014 that hadn't been so prominent in previous seasons.

Credit: NFL.com

At the top of the offensive formation, Watkins and Revis are left alone on an island. Revis initially lines up in press coverage, but he doesn't look to initiate contact off of the line of scrimmage. Watkins appeared to be expecting contact, which caused some hesitation in his initial movement.

Watkins' first step was staggered, and it led him towards Revis' outside shoulder. However, with haste, Watkins angled back infield toward Revis' inside shoulder.

This was the point when the cornerback attempted to initiate contact with Watkins. Watkins proved to be too strong, though, as he knocked Revis' upper body away with his own arms. He didn't just prevent Revis from engaging him, he knocked the cornerback off balance.

Credit: NFL.com

Revis recovered his balance before Watkins had gotten past him. From a level position, though, Watkins was able to easily accelerate away from the cornerback so that he was wide open down the sideline. Had the ball been thrown toward the receiver, he would likely have had a touchdown.

Watkins' ability to win at the release was largely a reflection of Revis' lack of strength against physicality. This is something that wasn't a big issue for the cornerback during his prime.

Credit: NFL.com

Later in the same quarter, Watkins was able to beat Revis off the line of scrimmage with his quickness. It was again notable that Revis was in press coverage but never attempted to engage the receiver when the ball was snapped.

 

Week 7: New York Jets

  • Total qualifying plays: 26
  • Failed coverages: 7
  • Shutdowns: 1
  • In position: 18

When Revis was at his best, he primarily played man coverage as part of Rex Ryan's defense. Under Bill Belichick in New England, the cornerback was asked to play zone more often during the first half of the season.

For the most part, Revis was a very valuable zone cornerback, but he struggled for consistency with his Cover-3 assignments. In particular, he struggled to defend deep out routes.

Credit: NFL.com

Revis followed Eric Decker around the field for this game. On this play, Decker is lined up to the right of the offense with Revis in off coverage across from him. Decker is lined up close to the line of scrimmage, so Revis naturally lines up a step or two wide of him before the snap.

Zone coverage is all about positioning and reacting.

Credit: NFL.com

Although there is a huge amount of space outside of Revis for Decker to attack with his deep out route, the cornerback's positioning isn't really a problem here. Instead, Revis ruins his positioning by flipping his hips way too early.

He is too focused on covering the seam route to the point that he forces himself to turn away from the receiver to cover the deep out route.

Credit: NFL.com

When Revis turns like this, he not only loses sight of the football and the receiver, he also concedes ground to the out route. Geno Smith's pass hangs in the air to give him a chance at the football, but he is still unable to locate it quickly enough to prevent the reception.

On a well-thrown pass, Revis would have been completely neutralized on this play.

Revis repeated this mistake on a number of occasions throughout the season as a whole. While it's possible he was attempting to bait quarterbacks into throwing the football in his direction, his acceleration to break on the ball in front of receivers from that position simply isn't there.

Decker was largely contained by Revis, but the receiver had more positive moments than he would have expected. On one of the few snaps when Revis didn't cover Decker, his problems at the release point appeared again.

This time it was an ex-Buffalo Bills wide receiver, T.J. Graham.

Credit: NFL.com

 

Week 8: Chicago Bears

  • Total qualifying plays: 16
  • Failed coverages: 3
  • Shutdowns: 4
  • In position: 9

Revis spent most of this game covering Brandon Marshall. He locked Marshall down for most of the game, giving him nothing until late in the second half. Revis showed off his outstanding balance, ball skills and athleticism to completely dominate against one of the toughest players to match up to in the NFL.

It was one of his best performances of the season.

Credit: NFL.com

Late in the fourth quarter, Revis showed off all of the traits that allowed him to dominate Marshall on one play. He followed the receiver into the slot while lined up off the line of scrimmage. When Marshall ran outside of Alshon Jeffery, a natural pick play was created.

Revis was able to comfortably adjust his feet to slide past Jeffery while maintaining perfect positioning against Marshall.

Because of his aggressiveness, Revis was able to get on top of Marshall's sideline route. Instead of trailing the receiver down the field, Revis uses his quickness to stay on top of Marshall and completely disrupt the timing of the route. Marshall eventually stopped because he couldn't run through Revis, meaning that when the ball arrived, it was closer to the cornerback than the receiver.

Marshall beat Revis three times in the fourth quarter. Significantly, two of those victories came when Revis lost off the line of scrimmage, and the other came when Revis gave up the deep out in zone.

 

Week 9: Denver Broncos

  • Total qualifying plays: 29
  • Failed coverages: 7
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 22

In the Patriots' biggest regular-season game of the year, Revis proved his worth. He primarily split his time between Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, limiting both players to just a handful of opportunities to catch the football.

 

Week 11: Indianapolis Colts

  • Total qualifying plays: 24
  • Failed coverages: 5
  • Shutdowns: 2
  • In position: 17

Both Reggie Wayne and Darrelle Revis will be Hall of Fame candidates at some point. Wayne is a lot closer to that stage of his career than Revis, though, and it showed when they faced off during the regular season. Wayne simply doesn't have the same quickness that he once had.

While Revis has also lost a step, he was still able to shut Wayne down regularly throughout the game. One of those plays led to Devin McCourty's interception.

Credit: NFL.com

As happened often in this game, Revis followed Wayne into the slot on this play. When the ball was snapped, Revis aggressively engaged the older receiver with his hands. Wayne pushed his way forward, but Revis didn't let go immediately.

Instead, he played aggressive, tight coverage on Wayne through his route that took a sharp right angle across the middle of the field.

Credit: NFL.com

Andrew Luck forces the ball to Wayne and throws it high for his receiver to go and get it. Despite being at a less advantageous position, Revis is able to extend so he can break on the ball before the receiver. From there, the ball travels into the waiting hands of McCourty.

Revis covered Wayne 22 times in this game, and he was beaten on just four occasions.

He covered T.Y. Hilton for the other two qualifying snaps. Hilton was able to show off his speed on a corner route when Revis exposed his frailties in zone coverage once more. While this time it was a corner route rather than an out route, the mistake was the same.

 

Week 12: Detroit Lions

  • Total qualifying plays: 26
  • Failed coverages: 6
  • Shutdowns: 5
  • In position: 15

This game proved to be a good example of where Revis is at this point in his career. He wasn't asked to cover Calvin Johnson; instead, he primarily followed Golden Tate around the field. Against Tate, Revis' quickness was stressed in an extreme way.

That quickness and precise footwork was on show regularly, but there were also too many moments when Tate was able to create separation. In the past, those moments wouldn't have existed, but such is the decline of the cornerback.

Significantly, Revis was much more comfortable in coverage against Tate when he lined up as a boundary corner.

Credit: NFL.com

Wide left of the numbers, Revis lines up in press coverage against Tate. Once again, he doesn't look to engage Tate at the snap, instead mimicking his footwork. Tate initially threatens an inside release with his inside foot, but Revis is quick enough and balanced enough to cover it without giving up an outside release.

As Tate releases into his route, Revis immediately drops onto his inside shoulder while keeping his eyes on the receiver.

Credit: NFL.com

Just a few yards into his route, Tate sinks his hips to sell a curl route to Revis. Revis was level with his inside shoulder to that point in the route, but had to stop his momentum to react. As Revis stopped, Tate continued downfield.

Tate ran this part of his route very well, but Revis' fluidity allowed him to stay on the receiver's inside shoulder without losing his balance.

Revis' feet glide along the grass on this occasion. He maintains control of the route by keeping his inside hand on Tate. Revis isn't holding the receiver, just feeling his positioning, and he is initiating contact in a spot where it's difficult for refs to punish him.

It's very easy for cornerbacks to overcompensate for the deep route when a receiver makes this kind of move early in his route. This can set up a wide-open comeback route. That's not what happened on this play.

Credit: NFL.com

Instead of overcompensating to not give up the big play down the field, Revis played with the perfect balance of aggression and caution. His balance and quickness allowed him to turn with Tate back toward the sideline.

Once the ball arrived, Revis was in position to reach in front of the receiver to punch the ball away.

Tate is a very quick player. He understands how to set up his routes, and he's strong enough to not simply be latched onto by a defensive back and disrupted in his route. He did everything he possibly could have to create separation on this play. Revis simply had the right reply to every movement he made.

Those kinds of movement skills are still elite, but when stressed more laterally, the cracks appear.

Credit: NFL.com

On this play, Tate gets a pocket of space to begin his route because he lines up so close to the other receiver to his side of the field. This pocket of space allows Tate to release with an advantage and be aggressive in one direction.

Tate takes Revis infield before spinning on the spot to run back toward the sideline on an out route.

Revis was too aggressive trying to stick with Tate early in the route. He was clearly concerned about giving up the middle of the field and as such overcompensated laterally. This allowed Tate to come wide open in the flat.

Matthew Stafford was sacked before he could release the football, so Revis' poor coverage went unpunished.

Poor coverage wasn't what happened when Revis and Johnson faced off for their sole qualifying snap. It was a goal-line fade route where Johnson tried to fake an inside break before running toward the sideline. Revis tracked the route and broke on the ball ahead of Johnson to prevent the touchdown.

Credit: NFL.com

 

Week 13: Green Bay Packers

  • Total qualifying plays: 19
  • Failed coverages: 4
  • Shutdowns: 2
  • In position: 13

The difference between a truly great and a very good cornerback can simply be consistency. Revis was still a very good cornerback in 2014, but his consistency wasn't there. Against the Packers, Revis showed off his ability to still be effective in the slot, as he largely shut down Randall Cobb.

Cobb is one of the fastest slot receivers in the NFL, but Revis was able to aggressively press him and put more pressure on his route-running ability.

Revis split his time equally between Cobb and Jordy Nelson in this game. All of his snaps against Cobb came in the slot, while his snaps against Nelson were split between the slot and left cornerback. For two of his left cornerback snaps, he was put on an island against Nelson and shut him down.

Credit: NFL.com

On this play, the deep safety, McCourty moves to the right side of the defense at the snap. This leaves Revis alone in press coverage against Nelson. Revis squeezes Nelson toward the sideline as he runs his route down the field.

Once he has control of the route, Revis turns back to locate the football. He may have had an interception, but Nelson knocked him in the head as the ball arrived. Instead of intercepting the ball, he simply prevented a potential touchdown.

Credit: NFL.com

The Patriots very rarely decided to anchor their coverage off of Revis on an island. Instead, most of the snaps where he was left alone in space occurred because of how the defense reacted to the route combinations and the quarterback's actions after the snap.

This was one of those plays, as Revis stayed with Nelson through his route and when he extended his route after Rodgers ran into the flat.

 

Week 14: San Diego Chargers

  • Total qualifying plays: 21
  • Failed coverages: 5
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 16

Keenan Allen was Revis' primary responsibility against the Chargers. Allen is a good receiver, but Revis was largely comfortable in coverage against him. The most significant play from this game saw Allen beat Revis on a slant route when he highlighted the cornerback's struggles releasing off the line of scrimmage again.

 

Week 15: Miami Dolphins

  • Total qualifying plays: 23
  • Failed coverages: 10
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 13

Jarvis Landry gave Revis plenty of problems in this game. Landry isn't a refined route-runner, but from the slot he was able to use his physical attributes to bully Revis. Much like Dwayne Bowe has often done, Landry was able to rely on his well-rounded athleticism for relative success.

 

Week 16: New York Jets

  • Total qualifying plays: 15
  • Failed coverages: 3
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 12

Percy Harvin beat Revis at the release of a shallow crossing route on one play in this game, but for the most part, Revis was comfortable against the Jets receivers.

 

Week 17: Buffalo Bills

  • Total qualifying plays: 5
  • Failed coverages: 1
  • Shutdowns: 1
  • In position: 3

This was a meaningless game for the Patriots, so Revis had limited snaps. He followed Sammy Watkins when he was on the field.

 

Divisional Round: Baltimore Ravens

  • Total qualifying plays: 26
  • Failed coverages: 7
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In Position: 19

Revis split his time between the Ravens receivers in this game. Notably, when the game was close late on, he primarily covered Steve Smith, and there were multiple situations when the Patriots actively anchored their coverage off of his ability to cover Smith one-on-one in space.

 

Championship Round: Indianapolis Colts

  • Total qualifying plays: 24
  • Failed coverages: 4
  • Shutdowns: 1
  • In position: 19

After erasing Reggie Wayne during the regular season, it was no surprise that the Patriots moved Revis off of Wayne in the playoffs. Instead, he spent a lot more time covering Donte Moncrief. Moncrief was completely reliant on his physical traits and lacked the subtlety in his route running to create separation against Revis with any consistent success.

One of Moncrief's successful snaps against Revis came on a slant route when he was able to use his upper body strength at the line of scrimmage.

 

Super Bowl: Seattle Seahawks

  • Total qualifying plays: 19
  • Failed coverages: 8
  • Shutdowns: 0
  • In position: 11

Against Randall Cobb during the regular season, Revis showed off his ability to punish more physically talented players who aren't as refined route-runners. In the Super Bowl, he faced the opposite challenge when he trailed Doug Baldwin around the field.

Baldwin was constantly open because Revis couldn't mirror his movement from the slot. The receiver didn't produce because his quarterback, Russell Wilson, played with the same hesitation and fear that was way too common throwing the ball in 2014.

Despite what the statistics suggest, Revis didn't take Baldwin out of the game. Wilson did.

 

HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 08: Cornerback Darrelle Revis #24 of the AFC All-Stars New York Jets intercepts an end zone pass intended for wide receiver Anquan Boldin #81 of the NFC All-Stars Arizona Cardinals in the 2009 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on Febru
Paul Spinelli/Getty Images

Full-Season Breakdown

  • Total qualifying snaps: 375
  • Failed coverages: 103
  • Shutdowns: 20
  • In position: 252
  • Success rate for the 2014 season: 72.5 percent

Revis' 72.5 percent success rate is impressive, but it's significantly lower than what his success rate was in 2013. In 2013, Revis had only 171 qualifying snaps because of how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used him, but on those snaps, he successfully covered his assignment 81.9 percent of the time.

Those numbers on their own lack context, but they do reflect how different cracks have appeared in his skill set that didn't exist in previous years.

When Revis last played for the Jets, he had a success rate of 60.2 percent on 332 qualifying snaps. However, that percentage is much more impressive than the 72.5 from this season, because that was when he played for Rex Ryan on an island against the opponent's best receiver on every play.

The 72.5 percent mark puts Revis in line with cornerbacks such as Keenan Lewis (69.3 percent) and Patrick Peterson (69.6 percent) rather than the tier he and Richard Sherman had shared around the 80 percent mark in seasons past.

 

Position Breakdown

Qualifying Snaps at Left Cornerback: 153
Failed Coverages at Left Cornerback: 44
Success Rate at Left Cornerback: 71.2 percent

Qualifying Snaps at Right Cornerback: 99
Failed Coverages at Right Cornerback: 26
Success Rate at Right Cornerback: 73.7 percent

Qualifying Snaps in the Slot: 123
Failed Coverages in the Slot: 33
Success Rate in the Slot: 73.7 percent

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Qualifying Snaps in Press Coverage(5 yards or less): 305
Failed Coverages in Press Coverage: 74
Success Rate in Press Coverage: 75.7 percent

Qualifying Snaps in Off Coverage(6 yards or more): 70
Failed Coverages in Off Coverage: 29
Success Rate in Off Coverage: 58.6 percent

When you break the numbers down into position and alignment, it becomes clear that the Jets need to keep Revis in press coverage as much as possible. While his success rate in the slot isn't actually worse than it is outside, his results against individual players was more volatile from receiver to receiver.

 

Route Breakdown

RouteSuccess RateTotal Number Faced
Seam91%45
Sideline90%77
Post82%17
Double Move75%28
Comeback69%16
Crossing67%52
Corner67%6
Curl66%44
Out60%40
In54%35
Slant47%15
Analytical Analysis Through NFL.com

 

Conclusion

It's clear that Darrelle Revis has lost a step. At 29 years of age with a recent torn ACL, that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. However, losing a step when you're Darrelle Revis is different from losing a step when you're an average NFL cornerback.

Revis can still be a dominant player; he just is less effective now when tasked with different types of assignments.

He can no longer simply welcome any opponent to his island and carry out whatever assignment he is given. Instead, Revis needs to be used in specific ways to be a shutdown player. If he is still used the way the Patriots used him last year, he will still be a great player. It's just that now he is closer to very, very good than Hall of Famer.

The Jets should be happy that they were able to re-sign Revis. He can still have a major positive impact on their defense, especially with that defensive line playing in front of him, but he's not the same caliber of player they traded away two years ago.

With Rex Ryan now in Buffalo, they likely won't ask him to be that kind of player, either.