The Patriots won two of their first three games of 2014 in large part because their defense was dominant. Through three weeks the unit boasted the top pass defense in football, and the group tied for the league lead with eight takeaways during that time.
Darrelle Revis visited the Bose headquarters to try out their new custom design process and create his own one-of-a-kind headphones.
As productive as the defense has been, some have wondered if it could be even better. Darrelle Revis, the team's high-profile free agent addition, hasn't always been used as a true man-to-man, lockdown corner to take out the opponents' top threat. Is it time to loosen the reins a bit and let Revis do what he does best?
The corner seemed to allude to that earlier this week when he was asked to compare the Patriots current system to the one he flourished in for years with the Jets.
"This is an aggressive sport. You've got to play aggressive when you're out there, competing on every down," Revis said. "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."
So, despite the great results through the first three games, our Samsonite Make Your Case question this week asks: Should the Patriots allow Darrelle Revis to lock up with the opponents' top receiver exclusively?
PFW's Andy Hart says ...
You don't buy a Lamborghini to drive it in the right-hand lane. While Revis has indeed spent a good chunk of time manning up in the first three games, I want to see that be the plan all the time.
He's at his best when challenged by an opponent's No. 1 target and is focused in on chasing him all over the field. Certainly Revis could stand to play better than he has through the first three weeks, but he also could be deployed a bit more aggressively. Let him do what he does. Put in a way that Bill Parcells might express it, if you're going to buy the groceries for a fancy dinner then make sure you serve the meal the right way. Revis is being paid as a true shutdown corner. It's what he's been in the past. It's what he wants to do. It's what he's best at.
Bill Belichick always says that if you can only do one thing you better be really good at it. Revis can play matchup man coverage at the highest level. So let him do it and let the rest of the defense take advantage of that ability.
PFW's Paul Perillo says ...
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Patriots secondary is playing at an extremely high level early on so I don't see the need to make changes at this point. Down the road when Revis and the rest of the defensive backs will be forced to deal with better quarterbacks and receivers than they've seen so far, perhaps that will necessitate a move. Until then, stick with what's working.
Revis is as talented as any corner in football so asking him to operate in just one manner doesn't seem to be the best way to take advantage of his skills. Keep opponents guessing from series to series and week to week. Don't let quarterbacks know where he's going to be, and that way you increase the opportunity for him to make the type of game-changing plays he's been known for.
Certainly I want to see Revis playing man-to-man against some of the top receivers in the game like A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson, but I don't think Rod Streater or Greg Jennings warranted that type of attention and I agree with the way in which he was used in those games. Keep everyone off balance and let Revis play in all kinds of coverages and my guess is he'll be making plays on a regular basis.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.