Reed made the Ravens defense go because he could make plays on downfield passes, sack the quarterback and support the run. Reed, when healthy, is so good that he lifts the entire defense because there's always someone there to cover any mistakes.
As Rhodes' benching made clear, all of that talk was seriously misguided. That doesn't mean the Jets didn't wind up with their own version of Reed, however. Darrelle Revis doesn't do all of the things that Reed does for the Ravens but he's just as responsible for the quality of the defensive unit.
This isn't a new statement, as Revis' work has been lauded from every corner of the football world this season. He's the best cornerback in football by a nearly unanimous opinion and he's the number one reason to believe the Jets can beat the Bengals on Saturday. Football may be a team game, but it never hurts to have the best player on the field.
When Revis shuts down his receiver -- Chad Ochocinco, in this case -- it creates a ripple effect across the entire defense. Safeties can come in a few steps to help out against the run because they know that Revis won't need any help over the top. That's going to make a big difference now that Cedric Benson will be back in the lineup. You can send an extra pass rusher after the quarterback for the same reason, and that should help pressure Carson Palmer and a passing game that struggled for most of the season. Taking Ochocinco out of the equation only makes it harder to see how the Bengals are going to move the ball.
That still leaves half a game for the Jets to figure out, but, again, Revis's presence makes it easier to pay extra mind to a plan that limits the chance that Mark Sanchez will kill you on the road in a playoff game.