The most hyped match-up for this weekend’s divisional game at the Jets in the Meadowlands is the Randy Moss – Darrelle Revis showdown. Last season, Moss was stuck on Revis Island and much was made about Revis’s ability to shut down Moss, leading to Revis being named one of the best, if not THE best, shutdown corner in the NFL. During the Week 2 match-up last season, Moss had 4 catches for 24 yards while only grabbing 5 catches for 34 yards and a touchdown during the Week 11 game. During an interview with Deion Sanders, Revis called Moss a “slouch,” and didn’t back off of that statement when questioned about it later in the week. Moss responded, saying that Revis has, “…60 minutes with this ‘Slouch.'” Despite the back and forth between the two, what Randy Moss does or does not do against Darrelle Revis is not key to the Patriots pulling out a win Sunday. Here’s why.
The Patriots have more weapons on offense this year than at any time last season. Last season, the team relied heavily on Moss and Wes Welker in the passing game, and that was about it. This year, the Pats have what looks to be a strong running game, three terrific tight ends, an explosive young receiver in Brandon Tate, and possibly Julian Edelman if he is able to play Sunday. The Patriots could actually do more harm than good if they try and force the ball to Randy Moss. I don’t say that because I don’t think that Moss can get off Revis Island (he certainly has the ability to do so), but we saw too much of that last season. You can’t force the deep ball all the time. The Pats had the most success last week (and throughout their Super Bowl runs) when they spread the ball around. The same should be done this week against a tough, tough Jets defense.
Moss could have no catches but if the Pats wins and are able to spread the ball around with success, I would consider that a win for Moss. He can take Revis all over the field with him. By doing so, he takes away the defense’s best player on every play. It has been speculated that Revis could line up against Welker due to the damage Welker did last year during Week 11. If that’s the case, Moss will have a big day. However, if Moss can keep Revis with him, the middle of the field opens up to the onslaught of the remaining pass-catchers.
I know Moss is intent in showing that he can get off Revis Island. But if his presence there saves the rest of the team, so be it. It will be fun to watch the two square off Sunday. I just hope that the match-up doesn’t take too much of Tom Brady’s attention.