Most of the time, no matter their age, injury condition or current career standing, prime-time players stand to demand the most attention in significant games.
It is with this in mind that this week’s key match up, Darrelle Revis against Calvin Johnson, is presented. The world knows that the Detroit Lions want to get the ball down field to their major deep threat. Similarly, the world also knows that the New England Patriots want to prevent it with Revis.
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Johnson dueling Revis has the capability to produce a great show. In 2010 as a member of the New York Jets, Revis helped limit Johnson to one catch for 13 yards despite four targets. Last season, Johnson got the upper hand against Revis, collecting seven receptions for 115 yards.
Either way, expect a similar tit-for-tat this time around. Revis will be motivated to get back at Johnson for last year, and Johnson will be similarly driven to finally get in the end zone against Revis. That will create some fascinating theater as the Lions and Patriots get set to square off, with either outcome perhaps dictating what course the game will take.
This time, much like the others, the battle between Revis and Johnson should set the tone. Last week, the Lions missed out on hitting a few major plays to Johnson due to excellent work by the Arizona Cardinals’ secondary which might have been the difference in a win. If Revis can keep him buttoned up, that will allow the Patriots to perhaps key up on Golden Tate and similarly frustrate Detroit.
This time, much like the others, the battle between Revis and Johnson should set the tone.
Even at age 29, many will say that Revis is beginning to slow down. Similarly, Johnson has begun to get dinged up, likely leading many to wonder if he can still consistently play an elite role for Detroit’s offense. This weekend, expect those notions to be put aside as Revis and Johnson do battle all day long in a game of great significance.
Arguably, they haven’t met with more on the line than they will on Sunday afternoon, making the match up a true clash of the titans. Revis praised Johnson this week as a “freak” athlete. Even though Bill Belichick didn’t want to reveal who might be given the task of covering Johnson, it’s reasonable to bet that Revis will draw the assignment plenty.
Big game players often times make the biggest plays in the most important games going up against the best talent. In the battle between Revis and Johnson, expect that to prove true once again this weekend.