FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis has faced Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson twice before, and on Wednesday, he called him a "man among boys." Revis added that Johnson is like a video-game creation with his size (6-foot-5, 236 pounds) and speed (4.3 in the 40-yard dash).
A possible Revis versus Johnson matchup is a significant part of what makes Sunday's Patriots-Lions game compelling, and if one looks at their prior two meetings, it could be viewed as a draw.
In 2010, when he was with the Jets, Revis helped limit Johnson to one catch for 13 yards. Johnson was targeted four times in that game, a 23-20 overtime Jets win.
Round 2 between the two came last season, when Revis was with the Buccaneers, and Johnson finished with seven catches for 115 yards. But those numbers are a bit deceiving because Revis left the game late in the first half with a groin injury. At the time Revis departed, Johnson had four catches for 61 yards.
In advance of a third meeting, Revis spoke Wednesday about how he embraces the competition to face the game's best.
Asked what separates Johnson from the rest, Revis said simply, "He's Megatron. That's what makes him different."
Revis then said one doesn't have to look too far to see Johnson -- who has been hobbled this season with an ankle injury that has affected his production (34 catches, 520 yards, 3 TDs) -- dominating games.
"It's like the ultimate receiver that you want, so if you can create him on a video game, that's basically what he is," he said. "He's like an NBA player."
While Johnson naturally draws most of the attention, it's actually Golden Tate who leads the Lions with 68 receptions for 950 yards and three touchdowns. Also, the Lions have been struggling to score, ranking 26th in the NFL in points per game (18.8 avg.), and 25th in passing yards (252.5 avg).
So that adds some context to the Johnson hype, but at the same time, would anyone argue that a potential Revis versus Johnson matchup isn't worth the price of admission?
No doubt, they are two of the NFL's best at their positions, and that's one of the first things we'll be watching for Sunday.