Patriots-Jets matchup of the day: Wednesday

Posted Oct. 05, 2011 @ 5:20 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a key matchup to watch in the Week Five game between the Patriots and Jets:

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. CB Darrelle Revis

OK, we don't know if this matchup will occur. Rex Ryan said Wednesday that the Jets already know who Revis will cover, but he channeled his inner Bill Belichick by keeping that information to himself. However, it wouldn't stun anyone if Revis, the best corner in the league, manned up Welker, the most productive receiver this season by a wide margin.

Coming off a franchise-record game against the Bills in Week Three, all Welker did in Week Four was catch nine balls for 158 yards and a touchdown. Chad Ochocinco has been ineffective, Deion Branch hasn't been targeted much in two games and TE Aaron Hernandez has been out with an injury, so it's no secret that Tom Brady was going to target Welker more than he already does, and Oakland still couldn't stop The Slot Machine.

Revis covered Randy Moss in Week Two last season and moved around a bit in the teams' next two meetings. When he was on Welker, Brady simply would target Branch.

One way to slow down Welker is to be physical with him at the line, jam him and not allow him to get into his route. Welker is a very good route runner who excels at finding open space. Revis is the exact type of corner that can keep him in check. This would be a prime example of the best against the best. Welker leads the league with 40 receptions for 616 yards this season. According to Pro Football Focus, Revis has allowed three receptions on 11 targets, and quarterbacks have a 3.6 passer rating when throwing in his direction.

The obvious question is whether or not Revis will be on Welker, but the follow-up, if that is the case, is how will it affect the Patriots' passing game? Brady attacks defense's weaknesses, so he would target Branch, Ochocinco and Rob Gronkowski, which would keep Revis from making an impact. But Welker has been so good this season, can the Patriots put up a ton of yards against the Jets' defense if he is covered constantly and not a part of the passing game?

All eyes will be on Revis when the Jets' defense takes the field, and, should he cover Welker, we will see if the Patriots are willing to take trips to Revis Island with this season's leading receiver.