EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In his first NFL game in almost a year, Darrelle Revis was feeling no pain.
Then he looked at the final scoreboard.
Revis recaptured his All-Pro form in his debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, deflecting away two early passes before his former team, the Jets, rallied for an 18-17 victory.
“I was just happy to be out there,” said Revis, who was brought along slowly by the Bucs after his October knee surgery. “I felt good going out there, doing what I like to do. It was great competing again at a high level. We failed to accomplish our goal today, but it was a great game.”
Acquired from the Jets in an April trade, Revis didn't take a snap during the preseason and was limited during training camp.
But he played almost every defensive down against the Jets and reported no problems with a left knee that was shattered in Week 3 last year.
“If I felt in any way uncomfortable, I probably wouldn't have played today,” Revis said. “I was ready to go.”
Rookie Geno Smith threw for 256 yards against the Bucs in his pro debut, adding 47 yards on the ground, but Revis wasn't tested much after breaking up two first-quarter passes.
“I thought Darrelle was fine out there,” Bucs safety Mark Barron said. “From what I saw, he did a great job.”
New kid in town
The Bucs might be growing tired of facing rookie quarterbacks.
In 2012, Philadelphia's Nick Foles threw a last-second touchdown pass in a 23-21 triumph at Raymond James Stadium. On Sunday, Geno Smith, a second-round draft pick from West Virginia, completed 24 of 38 passes and maintained his composure in crunch time.
“Even though he's a rookie, he made a lot of plays with his arm and his feet,” said Bucs middle linebacker Mason Foster, who matched his totals for each of the past two seasons by sacking Smith twice. “You've got to tip your hat to him.”
Former Bucs tight end Kellen Winslow, who led all Jets receivers with seven catches for 79 yards, tossed a bouquet back at Smith.
“His poise was awesome,” Winslow said. “And we're not surprised by it. We have his back and we're not surprised by it at all.”
No wiggle room for running game
Bucs running back Doug Martin, who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2012, struggled all day to find holes against a Jets defense that ranked No. 8 in the league last season. Martin was limited to only 65 yards on 24 carries, and his two receptions generated minus-1 yard.
“We've got to do a better job up front,” guard Davin Joseph said after his first meaningful action since suffering a season-ending knee injury 13 months ago.
“We've got to give Josh (Freeman) more time and open more holes for Doug. We made too many mistakes today, but it felt good to be back on the field and I felt fine.”