Darrelle Revis Gets a Little Extra Motivation

Jets cornerback beaten out by Charles Woodson

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Jan 12, 2010  |  Updated 11:46 AM EDT
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Prove 'em wrong on Sunday, Darrelle.

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A cornerback was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, but it wasn't the cornerback that most New Yorkers probably hoped would wind up on top.

Charles Woodson of the Packers got 28 of the 50 votes while Darrelle Revis only garnered 14 after a season that saw him shut down elite receiver after elite receiver on the way to the playoffs.

The vote would look a lot better if it had come out on Friday. Woodson spent Sunday afternoon watching Larry Fitzgerald catch two touchdown passes in the epic 51-45 Cardinals win, while Revis shut down Chad Ochocinco for the second straight game to help lead the Jets to their 24-14 victory in Cincinnati. The vote was based on the entire body of work, of course, but even then you have a strong argument that Revis caught the shaft.

Woodson's numbers were flashier -- nine interceptions, three touchdowns and two sacks to six picks and a touchdown for Revis -- but that speaks to a fundamental difference in their approach to the game. Woodson is a gambler and, as Sunday's game illustrated, those gambles sometimes cost his team dearly. Revis, on the other hand, worried about stopping his receiver first and foremost and rarely, if ever, left himself in position to get beaten for a big play going the other way.

It's not as telegenic, but it was damned effective. Week after week, Revis took away the biggest threat in the opposition's passing game and forced them to change their plans in usually futile attempts to put up points. This isn't meant to denigrate Woodson, who had a tremendous season and is a perfectly reasonable choice, but when you look at the overall effect a player had on the defensive side of the ball it is hard to find anyone who did more than Revis this season.

Revis doesn't seem like the type who looks for or needs outside motivation to do his job come Sunday, but perhaps this vote will lead to an even stronger performance than the one we see every single week. That would make a Jets victory a lot more likely and, perhaps, give writers a chance to correct their mistake when it comes time to vote for Super Bowl MVP.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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