NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, December 25, 2015, 4:55 PM
Darelle Revis thinks of Jets-Patriots as a heavyweight fight.
“You throw a punch at them,” the Gang Green cornerback said Thursday, “they might throw two back at you.”
Revis has been on both sides of the contentious rivalry – he won a Super Bowl ring in New England last year – so he brings a unique perspective to the Jets locker room.
He also provides knowledge of the Pats system and Tom Brady that could be crucial come Sunday when the teams meet for the second time this season at MetLife Stadium – a game New York has to win to remain firmly in the playoff race.
“On both sides of the ball, there’s just things you can find and tell. I know those guys pretty well from being there last year. I got a lot of relationships up there still.” Revis said. “So you take what you can, and I took what I could there from last year.”
Fellow cornerback Antionio Cromartie said he and his teammates have been using Revis to their advantage this week, just as they did entering the first matchup of the season, a 30-23 Jets loss in Foxborough on Oct. 25.
But Revis isn’t the only one providing valuable information to the Jets defense, according to Cromartie. Tight end Zach Sudfeld, who’s missed all of 2015 with a torn ACL and spent several months with the Patriots in 2013, has also been an important informational resource for Gang Green defenders heading into this weekend.
“The offense hasn’t changed a lot since Darrelle’s left or since Zach Sudfeld has left,” Cromartie said. “The biggest thing is just we try to pick their brains and understand what to look for and then go from there.”
Todd Bowles, though, doesn’t look at Revis’ time in New England as that much of a benefit for his squad.
“The same advantage he has, they have,” the Jets coach said. “They know him as well. He knows them as well. So that’ll be a cat-and-mouse game within itself.”
Despite being ravaged by injuries this season – Patriots players have a missed an NFL-most 201 combined games due to injury this season, according to mangameslost.com – New England hasn’t missed a beat. The Pats offense ranks fourth in yards per game and third in points per game this year.
A big part of that success, according to Revis, comes down the team’s offensive approach.
“They come with different sets, different formations. They plug guys in. It’s like clockwork up there. So for you to defend that, you have to defend all the guys that they put out there, especially when they line up in empty,” Revis said. “Tom will throw the ball to anybody, and he’s counting on them to make a play.”
“They’re very savvy at dissecting your weaknesses on defense.”
Cromartie sees a similar tactic from the Pats. They find the flaws in your defense and attack them without mercy.
The Jets can combat that by focusing on themselves, Cromartie said.
“It’s about the defense executing and doing the things they need to do, making sure they’re staying on top of the routes, trying to make sure they stay with Gronk and not try to put too much pressure on themselves,” Cromartie said. “You just got to play calm.”
Sunday will be the 12th regular-season game between the Jets and Pats since the start of the 2010 season – or the 12th round if you use Revis’ analogy.
The Patriots have dominated the first 11 rounds of this heavyweight bout, winning 9 of the 11 games.
But it only takes one punch for a knockout.
“They’ve been winning for a number of years, and they deserve it. They put the numbers up. They won the games. You got to respect that,” Revis said. “At the same time, with this game, it’s a rivalry game, and we already know what’s at stake.”