I did not like the defensive game plan the Jets used in their first visit to Foxborough this year. I thought they were too predictable up front, where they need deception to find success, and tried to use too much deception in their coverage assignments. Coverage is a strength of this defense. While playing well against Tom Brady probably requires some variety, the Jets have shown an ability to execute without changing things up much in the secondary.
Like Peyton Manning last week, Brady did not show any willingness to challenge Revis. Exactly 1 of his 29 passes targeted a receiver Revis was defending. It looked at times like Brady was just eliminating the guy Revis was on when he was going through his progressions.
Revis lined up against Wes Welker at times. As you might guess, Welker did not do anything on Darrelle. He finished with 7 catches for 80 yards in total, a very productive outing.
We have seen time and again how Revis alters an offensive game plan. Brady's first look is Welker. Welker was targeted 122 times this season. The next highest guy had 74. No, Welker is not a gamebreaker, but he is the guy through whom New England's passing game is based. At this point, it is tough to believe there is a receiver in the game Revis could not take away. I think virtually eliminating Brady's favorite target will do more to cause him discomfort than any variation in coverage.
There are other benefits. The Pats love to run screens to Welker. Revis is the best tackling corner the Jets have. Not putting Revis on Welker would almost a mismatch somewhere else as well, but that is a topic for later in the week.