Shutdown Corner - NFL

Darrelle Revis(notes), CB, New York Jets. Mr. Revis knows how to open a season. Check out his first two assignments, and how he performed in the tasks assigned to him.

Week 1: Andre Johnson(notes). 4 receptions, 35 yards, 0 touchdowns.
Week 2: Randy Moss(notes): 4 receptions, 24 yards, 0 touchdowns.

Revis was so good that with Wes Welker(notes) out, Julian Edelman(notes) became Tom Brady's(notes) favorite target. That's Julian Edelman, who stands 5'10" and, at this time last year, was playing at Kent State. As a quarterback.

In fairness to the rest of the defense, though, it's not just Darrelle out there making plays. It's an entire defensive unit, making things really, really hard on quarterbacks.

Did you see Tom Brady today? When's the last time you saw Tom Brady look that uncomfortable and off his game? He was routinely pushed from the pocket, throwing without his feet set, missing those short little passes that he used to murder the Bills last week ... it was jarring to see. The New England Patriots were held without a touchdown. I didn't think I'd see that happen all year.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans. Oddly enough, number two on our list even strengthens the case for number one. This week, away from the clutches of Darrelle Revis and the Jets defense, Johnson went bananas. His ten receptions went for 149 yards and two touchdowns, helping to propel the Texans to a win over the Titans that just about no one thought they'd get.

Ray Lewis(notes), LB, Baltimore Ravens. I'd have bet my socks that Philip Rivers(notes) was on his way to putting his name on this list with a last-minute drive against the Ravens, but on 4th-and-2, here comes Ray, gashing the San Diego line and sticking a knife in San Diego's chances for victory.

Now, chances are, someone up front for the Chargers blew an assignment, because there's no way that anyone in the middle of the defense was unaccounted for on a play like that, let alone Ray Lewis. Still, he had the instincts, the speed and the pure tackling ability to make the play, no matter how ridiculous the play call.

Frank Gore(notes), RB, San Francisco 49ers. Two wins and no losses is a great way to start the season. Two wins and no losses, with those two victories coming against the best two teams in your division (other than you, of course) is just about ideal.

Frank Gore put the 49ers on his back and propelled his team to that very feat yesterday. His average of 12.9 yards per carry was pretty solid. Two carries that each went about 80 yards for touchdowns aren't bad, either.

Jay Cutler(notes), QB, Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler accepts this award on behalf of Robbie Gould(notes), because no kickers are allowed here, and because Cutler was pretty damn good in his own right. He had to match Ben Roethlisberger(notes) throw-for-throw, and he came out on top. Again, Jeff Reed(notes) and Robbie Gould helped, but this was the Cutler that the Bears had in mind when they gave up the world for him. 27-of-38, 236 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions.

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