Pro Football Weekly, a publication that I always enjoyed reading when I was a beatwriter covering the Jets from 1994-2006, today announced its Midseason All-Pro Team, and it’s perhaps a pleasant surprise that PFW found room for four Jets on its first team.
Darrelle Revis was a lead-pipe cinch. Revis, tied for third in the NFL with four interceptions and leading all interceptors with 184 return yards, was the Green & White’s only unanimous selection by the magazine’s editors.
Revis was joined on the defensive team by ILB David Harris and DT Sione Pouha. And Joe McKnight was chosen as PFW’s kickoff returner.
A note on the all-star list: The magazine, with a nod toward the number of teams playing 3-4 alignments this year, selected four linemen, four linebackers and four DBs on its 12-man defense. PFW made cornerback an All-MetLife affair, pairing up Revis with Corey Webster of the Giants. Harris gets a nice nod at inside linebacker along with the 49ers’ NaVorro Bowman. And Pouha squeezes onto the line at DT alongside the Ravens’ estimable Haloti Ngata.
The story on the Midseason All-Pro Team can be found in the current edition of Pro Football Weekly, now available on newsstands. And additional midseason content, including power rankings, can be found at ProFootballWeekly.com.
As far as I know, none of these guys gets any trophies, cut crystal or contract bonuses for reaching PFW’s halfway-point all-star team. But it’s some nice recognition nevertheless for all.
The three defenders, who were so honored not only for their general play but because of their takeaway plays.
The Green & White’s rankings are slowing improving into their usual top-10 surroundings (eighth in total yards allowed, seventh in passing yards allowed, tied for eighth in points allowed).
But they’re among the league’s top-ranked teams in takeaways. Their 19 takes are tied for second (one behind, coincidentally, Buffalo’s 20 after the Bills lost the takeaway battle to the Jets, 3-2).
Revis’ four interceptions leads the Jets defense, which now has 13 picks after eight games, one more than the Jets had all of last season.
One of those thefts was turned in by Harris on the stretching tipped-ball-to-himself off of Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the first half of Sunday’s win at Buffalo. I asked “the Hitman” after the Bills game if he’s turning into the NFL’s next great LB interceptor.
“I can’t say all that,” he said modestly. “I just saw the ball and tried to make a play on it.”
He did that expertly, and in addition to his tackling skills, he’s become something of a pass thief. He now has five career INTs, all in the last three seasons, and Sunday’s pick goes along with his INT-return TD that just for a second threatened to help the Jets turn their Sunday night affair against the Ravens into a close ballgame, which followed his theft of Tom Brady in last January’s playoff triumph in Foxboro.
Pouha, meanwhile, keeps growing in stature. He applied a crushing hit on Fred Jackson that forced a third-quarter fumble that Jim Leonhard took to the Bills 19. Shortly after, LaDainian Tomlinson vaulted into the end zone and the Jets had their 13-0 lead.
“Fred is the center of their offense. If you can affect their offense, that helps give you an edge,” Pouha said. “He wasn’t the same after that.”
Certainly not on his next four carries, on which he gained 6 yards. Jackson did shake off the effects of the hit to finish with 120 yards from scrimmage, but still, 58 of those yards came after the Jets had taken a 20-3 lead and Big Bo was one of the point men in the Stop Fred movement.
And Pouha’s on a fumble roll the past two seasons with his Sunday force and five other fumble recoveries — four coming in primetime. Just in time for the Patriots at home on Sunday night.
And lest we forget about McKnight, he continues to lead the NFL with his 40.2-yard kickoff return average. Just think: Joe’s average return is almost the equivalent of the Jets being recipients of a kickoff out of bounds every time the opponents kick off.
Tags: Darrelle Revis, David Harris, joe McKnight, Midseason, PFW, Pro Football Weekly, Sione Pouha
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