For years, New England Patriots fans witnessed first hand the dominant play of Darrelle Revis. In the past, few players had seen the light of day on “Revis Island.” However, he may no longer be the best cornerback in the NFL. That title, you could argue, has been claimed by Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib.
Heading into the 2013 season, many people wondered how Talib would fare in his sophomore season with the Patriots. He has answered those questions in a big way, dominating excellent receivers week after week. In fact, he has faced some of the best receivers in the game, holding them to mediocre games in the process.
He started his dominance defending Steve Johnson primarily, who he limited to just 39 yards receiving on three catches, although he did catch a touchdown pass in that game. He had another good showing against Stephen Hill, who had 86 yards receiving, but Talib did not allow him to reach the end zone.
From then on, Talib started becoming even more dominant, holding the likes of Vincent Jackson, Julio Jones and A.J. Green to 203 yards total and no touchdowns combined in those three contests. In other words, he has only allowed 328 yards and one touchdown on the season to go along with four interceptions, eight passes defended, and one forced fumble.
Revis’ stats are far less impressive, as he has given up 211 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception, four passes defended, and one forced fumble in one less game than Talib. He has given up these yards and scores to less talented receivers compared to Talib as well.
He has faced the likes of Hill, Marques Colston, Patriots rookie Kenbrell Thompkins and Larry Fitzgerald. He kept Hill and Colston in check, but allowed 109 yards and three touchdowns to Thompkins and Fitzgerald combined.
As you can see, Talib has really stepped his game up this year, and should be considered one of, if not the best, cornerback in the league, having shut down nearly every top receiver in the game he has faced thus far.
The change of scenery from Tampa Bay has seemingly been enough for the talented but troubled defender to gain some added motivation. As a result, there may be a new shutdown corner in the AFC deserving of his own island, aka “Talib Island.”