Revis proves edge over Lions' Johnson

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis breaks up a pass

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis breaks up a pass intended for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson during the first quarter at Ford Field in Detroit. (Nov. 7, 2010) (Credit: AP)

DETROIT - The Lions wasted little time - OK, no time at all - testing Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis with their big-play receiver, Calvin Johnson.

On the first play from scrimmage in the Jets' 23-20 overtime win, Johnson lined up to the right of the formation, with Revis staring at him across the line of scrimmage. Johnson, whose big-play capability earned him the nickname "Megatron," ran a "go" route straight up the field. Quarterback Matthew Stafford lofted a perfect pass that was about to land in Johnson's hands, but Revis leaped at the last second and broke up the pass.

"It was a big play, because if he'd have caught it, it would have been a real big momentum swing," Revis said. "Being at home, and them striking with a big play right away, it would have been really big for them. But it turned out to be real big for us."

The Jets' All-Pro cornerback finally looked as if he's all the way back.

After missing training camp because of a contract holdout, after suffering a hamstring strain in Week 2 and after making a shaky return from a two-game absence, Revis was back to being the shutdown cornerback Rex Ryan calls the best in the sport.

"Am I back? I've been back since Week 1," Revis said with a laugh. "I mean, the whole situation I've been through has been tough, holding out, missing training camp and then getting hurt. The coaches did a great job of easing me back into football and not trying to push the button too hard."

But this was the first game all season in which the Jets matched Revis against the opponent's top receiver for the entire game. The Jets were reluctant to have Revis shadow opposing No. 1 receivers early, because he wasn't in game shape after his holdout. And after he was injured covering former Patriots receiver Randy Moss on a touchdown reception in Week 2, Revis still was rotated with cornerback Antonio Cromartie on the top receiver.

Not this time. With Johnson - who was coming off a three- touchdown performance last week - posing one of the biggest threats of any wide receiver, Revis stayed with him the entire game. The result for Johnson: He was targeted four times and had one first-half catch for 13 yards.

"This was my first real game where I got to match up with the other team's No. 1 wide receiver, and I got a chance to do what I do," Revis said. "I felt good, and I did my job of what the coaches wanted me to do."

It was shades of 2009, when Revis routinely shut down receivers with his intimidating coverage. Whether it was Andre Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, Moss, Lee Evans, Steve Smith or Roddy White, Revis limited them all to well below their usual numbers.

He clearly was not himself after the holdout and the injury. But now that he has overcome both, it looks as though Revis Island is back in business.

"I feel good," he said. "Now it's just going out there and trying to get the job done."

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