If you don’t live under a rock, odds are that you already know that Darrelle Revis is a New York Jet again. Regardless of where you live, however, you may not know that the return of the best man-to-man corner in football to the greatest city on earth, has instantly lifted the Broadway Jets from the cellars of the NFL to the one-piece-aways. No offense Ryan Fitzpatrick (offense to Geno), but that piece is under center. What these Jets have done in the last week has sprung them to the forefront of NFL defenses, and the block before the Lombardi. I’m not kidding.
The defensive line of 2014 was lethal. Muhammad Wilkerson is as good at stuffing the run as any defensive linemen in football, and he rushes the passer, too. With time to recover from a banged-up 2014 season that saw him miss the first games of his career, Wilkerson will return to form in 2014 as the beast pass rusher who posted 10.5 sacks in 2013. The crazy thing is, the D-Line is phenomenal even without him. Sheldon Richardson, aside from being the best goal-line back in football, leads the NFL in sacks over the last two years among players 25 or younger. Damon “Snax” Harrison rounds out the D-Line, and only a true Jets fan can appreciate what a playmaker he is. Snax eats up multiple blocks on every single run play, and I firmly believe he has the fastest pursuit of any nose tackle in the league. Rounding out the front seven are the blooming Quinton Coples and team-captain David Harris, who was the single most effective tackling middle linebacker in the game not named Kuechly in 2014. These Jets, guided by Harris, quietly led the NFL in tackles last season. Furthermore, these Jets boasted the league’s second best run-stuffing defense at home, allowing a mere 71.6 ypg. They also had the 4th highest sack percentage in the NFL.
Okay, so how come their defense wasn’t great last year? Glad you asked, but you probably know: corners. These Jets had just about the worst corners I have ever seen start an NFL game last year by the end of the season, pinning undrafted rookie free agent Phillip Adams against Demaryius Thomas. I don’t care how good your pass rush is, you’re not winning that game.
Insert Darrelle Revis, who, in one year, completely transcended the Patriots’ defense into a Super Bowl champion. I am a big supporter of Richard Sherman, but Richard Sherman stays on one side of the field. If a team sends Salim Hakim split left, Richard Sherman is going to cover Salim Hakim. Darrelle Revis will not. He will guard your best player. He will shut him down. He is the best corner in the game.
What I’m trying to say is, the Revis & Cromartie reunion, though expensive, is being paired with the game’s brightest young defensive mind: Rex Ryan. I’m kidding, of course; it’s Todd Bowles. This will transcend the Jet’s defense, as it leaves them without a hole to be found. Watch out, New England, these Jets are a passer away from taking your division. The boys are back. Welcome home.