above: blue is yards per target, red is completion percentage allowed /10, green is QB rating allowed /10
Okay, don't get excited. I'm not writing about how Revis isn't a very good corner anymore. I'm only opening up the question as to whether he is the takes-away-half-of-the-field superstar, absolutely unique player and in-the-conversation-for-GOAT that he is being paid to be, and that many Jet fans may have in their minds. This isn't conclusive at all, only a suggestion that what happened with the Revis signing is that once more (Harris) Macc has signed a very good veteran for top dollar, and that perhaps...perhaps...he isn't the player we are dreaming of.
First of all, when we think of Revis's brilliance as a Jet we really are thinking of only two years. In fact, 2009 was so off the charts we kind of think of only one year. 2010 though was a season marred by a very persistent hamstring injury, and you can see it in his statistics. He really didn't come on strong until the end. That being said, he still ranked 1st in the league in completion percentage allowed. His first place QB ratings in 2009 and 2011 are even more pronounced in that he never really was an INT guy. He was pulling down the best ratings despite not being a ball hawk.
There is also a caveat here in regards to completion percentage allowed. CBs in Rex's defense do very well in this category. The press defense and the pressure he was able to bring earlier on make completing passes at a high rate difficult. In part Revis was so good in completion percentage because of the defense he was in. You can see this by the low completion percentages other CBs had as well.
But what can't be ignored is that in the last two years, since his injury, he, at least in these categories, was nowhere near the 2009 and 2011 seasons that we have stuck in our minds. Last year playing in the 12th best pass defense in the league (DVOA), it was a defense that that was the 7th best against the number 1 receiver (opposite). Not bad at all. But not really the "takes away half the field" either. In 2011 the Jets were 1st against the number 1 receiver.
The question isn't whether Revis is good, or even if he is VERY good. The question is whether he, after his injury, is still great, a defense-defining great. And the even bigger question is whether he is on the upswing, finally gaining his belief in his leg after two seasons, or on the downswing, starting to age, and suffering permanent limitations in his physicality that will only expand over the length of the contract.
I have said elsewhere that I did not watch him very much at all last year, I can only look at his declining numbers, numbers that are much closer to his hamstring marred 2010 year, and wonder if Macc paid top dollar to a non-Lebron type player.
Revis and Interceptions
A small note. as mentioned Revis was never a dynamic ballhawk. His out of the world play was defined by his precision, his physicality and his knowledge/study. He certainly has his knowledge and much of the precision, but the 3rd element is his question mark. In the area of the interception, where he was already not dominant, he has slipped. In 2013 he averaged an INT 1 out of every 31.5 targets (30th in the league). In 2014 he averaged an INT once in every 39.5 targets 38th in the league. As a point of comparison in 2009 he averaged one every 18.5 targets, in 2011 every 21.25
These numbers show some sort of disparity.
For those very excited about the signing, I don't mean to be too big of a downer. He practically transforms our pass defense, if only because we had the worst corners in the league. But the there is some reason for restraint if we are imagining that we've signed a pre-injury, 2011 Revis. And there is at least a small red flag that Maccagnan has fortified his defense with two high ticket veterans not at the top of their game.