The word was Revis overslept and was late for practice, but neither he nor Belichick would comment on it. Instead of letting it bring down his play on Sunday, Revis flipped the script, putting together a strong showing against a loaded Bears offense in the team’s 51-23 blowout win.
“It’s been in the past,” Revis said of the situation. “When it happened it was over then. Me and [Belichick] talked and we see eye to eye.”
Both would undoubtedly agree that Sunday was the type of game the Patriots signed Revis in free agency for. Faced with the task of primarily covering one of the Bears' pick-your-poison receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, Revis rose to the occasion, keeping both quiet any time one of them crossed his path.
He finished the day with an interception, two deflected passes and four tackles, while none of the Bears’ receiving core was able to snag a reception against him when he lined up in man coverage.
“I think as a defense we mixed up zone and man against their offense,” Revis said. "Their offense is very explosive. They’ve got some big-time players on their offense. As a whole, it’s not even about what I did or [fellow cornerback Brandon Browner] did. Collectively out there, we’re playing as 11.”
While many would have expected Revis to tail Marshall all game long, he instead remained a fixture on the left side of the field for the majority of the game. In the first half, Revis took every defensive snap from the left, covering Marshall, Jeffery and even less dangerous receivers Santonio Holmes and Josh Morgan.
One play that stuck out was a Bears pass attempt on third-and-18 after the Patriots had just scored their third touchdown. In a situation where Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler would most likely be looking to throw to one of his two best weapons, Revis remained in position on the left side covering Morgan instead of shifting to either Marshall or Jeffery. On the play, the rest of the Patriots' defensive unit did their job and Cutler’s only option was a short pass to Forte that failed to convert on third down.
“That was the game plan this week,” Revis said of where he lined up. “Sometimes we mixed it up in man coverage. Like I said, the coaches draw up the best schemes for us as a defense and what’s best for the team. That was the match-up, we tried to switch it up, we tried to get Jay Cutler confused a little bit by playing more of a stagnant coverage, and we did. We played a stagnant coverage and it worked today.”
Down by 31 at the half, the Bears' offense became more pass-heavy in the third and fourth quarters, leading to Revis being shifted toward a stronger focus on Marshall and occasionally lining up on the right in man coverage to keep him contained. However, he still spent the majority of his time on the left.
On both of Chicago’s two-point conversion attempts, Revis was on Marshall.
“They had a great game plan and they executed it well,” Marshall said.
Though it may appear obvious due to the final score, Revis said it was a win he’ll enjoy. However, he won’t be able to for long, as the Patriots will host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos next Sunday, a team that is seen by many as the best in the NFL.
“Once we come in here tomorrow we’ll probably try to go over corrections and what we did good and bad and correct them, and then probably move on to Denver fast because we want this one,” Revis said. “We really do. We’re a team on a mission. It’s going to be two great teams playing out there.”
Like he was on Sunday, Revis is sure to be relied upon heavily by the Patriots' defense against Denver. And while some chatter may still surround distractions he faced earlier this week, Revis has made it clear that he and the team are focused only on the next team on the schedule.
“On a week-to-week basis there’s always something going on with a team, but I feel like our team, we’re very mentally tough about the situations that come up on a weekly basis,” Revis said.
“I can speak for everybody that’s on this team, we live for games like this next week. We’re looking forward to it.”