FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- To hear coaches and former teammates talk about Darrelle Revis is to think he's still at or near his peak "Revis Island" skills. The naked eye and film tell an entirely different story.
The veteran cornerback had another poor game Sunday when he was beaten for two touchdowns, including the decisive score late in the fourth quarter, by rookie wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell in the New York Jets' 22-17 loss to the New England Patriots.
On both plays, Revis looked at least two steps slow. He failed to reverse direction with Mitchell in the back of the end zone on the first score and was several yards to the right of Mitchell as he caught the second touchdown.
Afterward, coach Todd Bowles claimed he'd only seen the first touchdown pass to Mitchell and that he didn't believe the Patriots targeted Revis, who was a key member of New England's 2014 Super Bowl-winning squad.
"I didn't see them have success going after him at all," Bowles said.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, perhaps not wanting to pile on a championship-winning teammate, spoke well of Revis on Sunday and again Monday, when he told WEEI in Boston that it looked as if Revis was playing at less than 100 percent.
"I know he's not feeling great," Brady told the radio station. "I could see out there he winced a few times, kind of getting up. It looked like his leg was bothering him a little bit, but he was still very close on a lot of those plays."
Revis said Sunday night that he is dealing with some "nicks and bangs."
Perhaps the unspecified ailments - Revis has not appeared on the injury report in the last three weeks - could be used to excuse the continual indifference that Revis seems to show for tackling in the open field.
Revis made a cringe-worthy attempt to shoulder tackle Patriots running back James White on a short pass in the third quarter. Revis badly missed and White might have broken free for a touchdown if David Harris, who fell the first time he tried tackling White, didn't recover and drag him down.
"For me, personally, it's not any different in terms of being banged up late in the season," Revis told reporters Sunday night. "You've got to take care of your body and make sure you're 80 to 90 percent come Sunday."
Brady, who was listed as questionable due to a knee injury, surely knows of what Revis speaks. Yet Brady also managed to serve as a hobbling lead blocker of sorts for LeGarrette Blount on a 10-yard run around left end early in the first quarter.
"He's been one of the great players in the league for a long time," Brady said of Revis on WEEI. "He's given up more plays this year than in the past, but you have to have a lot of respect for his style and his game."
Even if one or both seem to be in the past tense.