Football: Revis, McCoy carry teams to victory in week six

By Mike Furlong

In week six of the NFL, two former Pitt Panthers carried their struggling teams to must-win… In week six of the NFL, two former Pitt Panthers carried their struggling teams to must-win victories over division opponents.

During Monday Night Football, in a match-up between division rivals the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, Darrelle Revis (Pitt cornerback, 2004-2006) did what he does best. After a week when Brandon Marshall claimed that he could do whatever he wanted to the Jets, including getting ejected in the second quarter, he appeared beached on Revis Island.

Revis isolated Brandon Marshall throughout much of the game by playing a physical bump and run. In the process, Revis intercepted two passes and returned one for 100 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the first quarter.

With the Jets offense struggling, Revis’ play had potential to be key in their goal of a playoff run. Revis also had three tackles and four defended passes. Marshall was targeted 13 times by backup quarterback Matt Moore, with six receptions for 109 yards. His longest reception of 46 yards occurred when Marshall was matched up with Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

In a must-win game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins, LeSean McCoy (Pitt RB, 2007-2008) might have saved the Eagles’ season, as well as his coach Andy Reid, in a 20-13 victory. With the Eagles coming off a streak of four losses, McCoy turned into the Eagles’ workhorse by rushing the ball 28 times for 126 yards and one touchdown.

The Eagles are going into a bye week with a 2-4 record, and the rushing threat of McCoy could make or break the season, as well as take pressure off Michael Vick and the injury-prone offensive line.

In the same game, McCoy’s teammate Dion Lewis (Pitt running back, 2009-2010) rushed twice for 10 yards. At the end of the first quarter, it appeared that Lewis had scored his first career touchdown before a booth review overturned the call placing the ball inside the 1-yard line. McCoy ended up running the ball in two plays later to put the Eagles ahead 14-0.

With Lewis making a goal-line appearance in a tight game, it appears that he might have passed Ronnie Brown on the depth chart. Lewis again lined up as the Eagles kick returner, but every Redskin kickoff was downed for a touchback.

Jabaal Sheard (Pitt defensive lineman, 2007-2010) put together another strong game for the Cleveland Browns despite a team loss to the Oakland Raiders. Sheard recorded four solo tackles and one sack for the Browns.

Elsewhere in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills, with assistant coach Dave Wannstedt (Pitt offensive tackle, 1971-1973, and head coach, 2005-2010), fell to the New York Giants 27-24. Henry Hynoski (Pitt fullback, 2008-2010) had to miss the game against his former coach with a neck injury.

In a match-up between the two most surprising teams of the season — the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions — two former Panthers contributed in the 25-19 49ers victory.

For San Francisco, Andy Lee (Pitt punter, 2000-2003) punted nine times with an average of just under 48 yards. Four of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line to pin the potent Lions attack deep inside their own territory.

On the other side of the field Aaron Berry (Pitt defensive back, 2006-2009) recorded one tackle and one defended pass in the loss. Berry is still working his way back from a groin injury that sidelined him earlier in the season.