Andre Johnson, Revis ready for rematch after offseason moves
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Andre Johnson and Darrelle Revis have taken familiar paths through the NFL.
Both were first-round draft picks, became perennial Pro Bowlers, became the foundation of their previous teams and packed up and moved away after last season.
Now, two of the league's most respected players face off again Monday night when Revis' Jets meet Johnson's Colts.
''You like to go against the best. You always want to go against the best to see where you're at, where your game is at,'' Johnson said this week. ''I'm pretty sure it's the same for him. He likes to go against the best in the game.''
It could be one of the game's most intriguing matchups.
Johnson, the longtime Houston Texans star, could see his role increase dramatically if T.Y. Hilton is hindered by the bruised left knee that kept him out of practice all week until Saturday. Hilton is expected to be a game-time decision.
The Jets' secondary also could be missing a key player. Starting cornerback Antonio Cromartie is questionable with a sprained left knee, putting even more pressure on Revis to live up to his reputation as one of the league's top cover men. That was his job with the Jets before his trade to Tampa Bay two years ago and is now after returning to the Jets following last season's Super Bowl in New England.
Plenty has changed this season.
The 34-year-old Johnson has worked out of the slot more than he ever did in Houston, and new Jets coach Todd Bowles is willing to deploy Revis in multiple ways instead of just shadowing each opponent's best receiver. The Colts' high-powered offense makes Bowles' decision this week complicated.
''We've got our work cut out for us either way, so it doesn't matter if you follow or double somebody, somebody else is always going to be 1-on-1,'' Bowles said. ''They have good enough guys that can get open.''
And they're good enough to score points by the dozens, something that didn't happen last week at Buffalo.
The Jets' defense is every bit as challenging.
Bowles, like Rex Ryan, likes blitzing and if he brings enough pressure, Andrew Luck may again be forced to rely on short, quick throws - something that prevented the 34-year-old Johnson from being the playmaker Indy envisioned in the offseason.
Like the Bills, the Jets also have physical cornerbacks such as Revis who can make some of the NFL's top receivers essentially disappear on game day.
''He (Revis) is probably one of the most technically-sound DBs in this league,'' Johnson said. ''He's a heck of a player, but I think they play well as a group. I think they have a great group of guys on the back end and they all complement each other very well. It will be a challenge for us.''
A challenge the 30-year-old Revis finds just as enticing, especially on the prime-time stage.
''Andre is by far one of the best receivers I have ever played against in the past,'' Revis said. ''So it does give them a dynamic on offense. They can use Andre probably just like they did Reggie (Wayne) in the past.''
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