Prime Revis Island

Revisiting the cornerback’s stellar 2009 season

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Recently, Darrelle Revis has been brought up as a topic of debate. Fans and analysts have been comparing Revis to cornerback Richard Sherman. The two players have had an ongoing feud about which player is better. A debate which still takes place today. Don’t get me wrong, Sherman is a great NFL player; but I feel as if people forget how great Revis was. His last few years may not have lived up to the high expectations which come when Revis steps onto the field. That however, doesn’t take away from the fact that Revis is one of the best corners of all time. He was a lockdown CB for the majority of his career. Revis had the ability to take opposing team’s number one receiver out of the game completely, and 2009 showed that.

From the beginning to the end of the 2009 NFL season, Revis put on a historic performance. That year, Revis had one of the best seasons by a cornerback ever. Perhaps even the best according to his former coach Rex Ryan.

The stats that Revis put up, or should I say the stats that Revis didn’t allow others to put up that season were incredible. Every game, Revis would line up across from the opposing team’s best receiver; and every game Revis would cause problems. Revis wasn’t just shutting down lower level talent either. He was locking down Hall of Fame type players. The list of receivers Revis held under 35 yards in 2009 included Andre Johnson, Randy Moss (twice), Terrell Owens (twice), Steve Smith, Chad Ochocinco, Reggie Wayne, Torry Holt, and Marques Colston.

Throughout the 2009 season, Revis only allowed a receiver to have more than 50 yards twice. The first time he did came against Ted Ginn Jr., who caught a 53 yard touchdown, then preceded to only have one catch the rest of the game. The second time came against Louis Murphy, in a game which didn’t require much effort considering the Jets won 38–0. Revis only allowed three touchdowns all season. He also only allowed a receiver to have more than four catches one time (Randy Moss, who had five receptions). Along with the numbers he didn’t allow, Revis added 31 passes defended, six interceptions, and one touchdown in 2009.

Pro Football Focus also held Revis in high regard during the 2009 season. According to PFF, Revis was targeted 111 times during the 2009 season. Revis only allowed 41 receptions, which was the fewest of any CB with 80+ targets. Revis allowed the fewest yards of any CB with 70+ targets. He also allowed the lowest passer rating in a season since 2006 (min. 100 targets against) according to PFF. In 2009, Revis allowed a 32.3 passer rating. Second place on PFF’s list was 47.8.

That’s not all however. In 2009, Darrelle Revis had the highest graded cornerback season of the PFF era ever (PFF began in 2006). That season Revis earned a grade of 97.6. The second highest grade was 95.4.

While the historic aspect of 2009 for Revis came in pass coverage, he also showed he was willing to do the dirty work. He finished the season with 54 total tackles, which was fifth on the Jets. Revis was willing to do whatever it took to win, and it almost was enough. That season, the Jets fell just short of a Super Bowl berth, losing to the Colts 17–30 in the AFC Championship game.

While 2009 was the best season for Darrelle Revis, it by no means was his only good season. Revis is a Super Bowl champion, a seven time Pro Bowler, a four time First Team All-Pro, and a member of the NFL’s 2010s All-Decade Team. Revis is a legend, and his 2009 season is legendary. Hopefully he gets more respect in future debates.

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University at Buffalo ’20 | BA in Communication | Writer for The Sports Scientist

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