As most of us know by now, the New York Jets have lost All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis for the 2012 season. Revis is a top-10 NFL player and easily one of the league's top defenders. His presence for the Jets was critical to their success, which is why after suffering a season-ending ACL tear, many are wondering how Gang Green will fare without him.
The way this team schemes and game plans, defensively, has largely to do with the fact that they have Darrelle Revis. But at this juncture, the Jets are forced to move on and face life after Revis Island.
It will require a total team effort on their behalf, and it has to start immediately. Statistically, the Jets have not been the same team with Revis off the field:
2011-2012 Jets With/Without Revis
|Revis||On field||Off field|
2012 Jets With/Without Revis
|Revis||On field||Off field|
Stats chart, courtesy of NFC West Blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com
Revis' importance to this organization couldn't be any clearer than these charts. Their functionality suffers without him and there is an apparent drop-off in performance. Furthermore, the Jets are a team that struggled to pull out wins with Revis - winning without him will be a much greater challenge.
Now, as it pertains to Week 4...
Jim Harbaugh is an intelligent coach who plays the percentages, and with that being the case, one can hope this is something that was brought to his attention this week during preparation for this game.
The game and injury comes at a pretty peculiar time. The 49ers were just served their first loss of the 2012 season, and the story line was, they weren't aggressive going downfield. Sure, Alex Smith threw 30-plus times, but there were an awful lot of check-downs and short to intermediate routes.
The Niners refused to change their game plan, despite trailing the duration of the game, and it cost them a potential victory. And on the same day, news breaks that the Jets' star cornerback is lost for the season -- a week before they face the run-first Niners who were in the midst of a minor identity crisis.
And if that weren't enough, the Jets noted today that they would use speedy backup running back Joe McKnight as a cornerback.
It's like that powers that be are begging, daring and demanding the 49ers throw the ball.
If there was ever a week early in the season where San Francisco was going to open up their playbook and get creative downfield, it should be in Week 4 versus New York. It's a great opportunity for a confidence-builder, and a chance for the Niners to put up big points and rebound from last week.
Whether or not the 49ers will do it is yet to be determined. They do seem pretty set in their ways, and establishing the run seems important on the road. However, it would be nice to see them unwind and cut this passing game loose. It's disappointing to see them setup road blocks for themselves by restricting this offense.
In order to really stick it to the Jets and come away with a win, the 49ers need to overcome some self-set boundaries.