FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Darrelle Revis knows all too well about the inner workings of the Patriots. All it took was one season in New England for the cornerback to understand why they’re a perennial power in the AFC East.
“They come to work every day. They put a lot into it. That’s how they win,” Revis told Newsday at his locker Wednesday. “And it starts from the coach, the coaching staff. They come up with great game plans and they’re a smart team. They wait for teams to make mistakes. That’s what they bank on.
“I was up there for a year, so I definitely know how that winning train goes,” added Revis, who won a Super Bowl two years ago playing for Bill Belichick.
“It’s a collective effort by everybody. Having TB12 (quarterback Tom Brady) helps, too, but still at the same time, it’s a system up there, where guys can get plugged in and plugged out. Guys can get plugged in, meaning from another team, the draft, they put them in the system and it’s rolling. And guys can get released, cut, and it doesn’t matter, because Bill does a great job in the system with the guys.”
The Patriots proved it again Sunday, winning a record eighth straight division title by defeating the Broncos, 16-3. They improved to 12-2 and passed the 1973-79 Los Angeles Rams for the longest division title streak in history.
Despite missing four games because of his Deflategate suspension, Brady has earned a spot in the MVP discussion. He’s thrown 22 touchdowns to only two interceptions while passing for 3,064 yards.
So how do the Jets stop him?
“See if we can figure out how to put 22 out there instead of 11,” defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers joked.
Up next for Brady on Saturday are the Jets, a 4-10 team searching for solutions to their many problems. Give Todd Bowles’ team credit, though: The Jets played New England tough Nov. 27 in a 22-17 loss at MetLife Stadium. A win was well within reach, but the Jets allowed a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter before Ryan Fitzpatrick turned the ball over on a strip-sack.
The Patriots have the No. 1 scoring defense in the league (16.6 points per game), the third-best rushing defense (87.9 yards) and a top 10 defense. They’re tied for 20th in takeaways, but they’ve forced eight turnovers in the past four games.
“I think they’re probably the smartest defense that we play,” Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said.
Revis, a future Hall of Famer, agreed. But his praise of his former teammates goes well beyond just the Patriots’ defense. Brady has been surgical in his return, carving up defenses with ease, while Belichick leads with laser-sharp focus, regardless of who is at quarterback or any other position.
The secret to understanding why the Patriots are so good is simple, Revis said:
“They’re consistent at winning and playing smart football. That’s why they win every year.
“It’s a whole team. It’s coaches, it’s players included. Guys up there put their hard hats on and come to work. That’s people that are dedicated and want to win. That’s what you get up there. Guys are really into ball, they love it, they have a passion for it. So they put everything into it to win. And that’s how you win year in and year out.”