There have been some differing points of view regarding Darrelle Revis' play in the early going. Some believe he's come exactly as advertised and helped the defense get off to a strong start while others have maintained his performance has been less than stellar.
Revis isn't necessarily concerned with either side of the argument and instead is focused on carrying out the team's game plan each week. Against the Raiders, his top priority was keeping the receivers in front of him, and the statistics show he was successful.
"Every week is a different strategy and different game plan," Revis said on Thursday. "Oakland did a great job of taking care of the ball as well, [Derek Carr] did. Every week is a different emphasis. As a secondary as a whole, deep balls will kill you. They kill any defense. Double moves in the high red area usually [mean] teams go for the end zone and try and take a chance. We've been doing great so far, and we just have to continue to stay consistent in that area.
"Deep balls will kill you. Just overall. It can be a long day for a secondary, and it'll be a longer day Monday coming in and the coaches getting after you about it. Like I said, we've been doing a great job all around the board. We and the safeties have been doing a great job and alerting it in certain situations and key moments and guys have been paying attention, and we've been taking care of that."
While there may be room for disagreement with regard to Revis, and cannot be disputed that he and his mates have done a nice job of eliminating the big play. New England allowed just six passes for better than 20 yards this season, which is second in the league in that category. The defense has yet to allow a pass play of 40 yards or more. That's an area that has been a problem in recent seasons, so at least early on Revis has helped take those away.
Revis hasn't always been asked to lock up with the opponents' top receiver, and that's one reason why the opinions on his play have differed. Pro Football Focus claims there is plenty of room for improvement in his game, and when talking on Thursday he seemed to indicate he may be itching to do more.
"This is an aggressive sport. You've got to play aggressive when you're out there, competing on every down," Revis added. "No matter what the situation is — man, zone — I have to do the best to execute my job and cover my man.
"Guys are going to make plays. This is not like we're playing against high school players or any talent that's less. Some of the greatest athletes in the world play this game. Sometimes, you make plays, sometimes, they make plays. That's what happens."
The task will become a bit more difficult for Revis, as well as the rest of the defense this week as the Patriots head to Kansas City to take on Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles and the rest of the Chiefs. It will be interesting to see if Revis draws Bowe in man coverage predominantly, or if the Patriots stick to their plan of mixing things up and keep things in front of them.
"You have Donnie Avery you have Dwayne Bowe," Revis said. "But it starts with Alex Smith. He runs the offense very well and he hurts defenses a lot with his feet as well. We've seen that a lot on film. We know we're going up against an explosive offense and explosive players. They're very talented all around, even at running back, they're talented. Jamaal Charles, Joe McKnight, so many guys. We're looking forward to the matchup."