"We're No. 1." No, not in the standings and not in the ubiqutous online power rankings. But the Jets' strong start has resulted in any number of new and old No. 1 rankings in the NFL after six full weeks. Let's review:
1. Rushing OffenseLed by Chris Ivory and his blockers, the Jets rolled to 221 rushing yards against Washington, which lifted their average to 146.0 yards/game and their rank from seventh to first for the first time this season. Last time the Jets were No. 1 in rushing offense this late in a season: nine of the last 11 weeks of the 2009 season, when Thomas Jones held sway.
2. Total Defense"We've been playing lights-out," said CB Darrelle Revis, and the No. 1 in total yards allowed/game bears that out. In holding the Redskins to 225 yards, the Green & White defense continued its climb from 4th to 3rd to 2nd to 1st in the past four weeks and is now allowing 269.2 yards/game. The last time the Jets led in total "D" this late in a season: the final four weeks of 2009.And don't forget the scoring defense, which at 15.0 points allowed/game is No. 1 for the fifth straight week.
3. Yardage DifferentialThis is not a category the Jets normally rank high in. But with the 249-yard advantage over Washington, they are now the only NFL team averaging 100 yards more than their opponents, plus-110.6, to be exact. Last time first in this category? After last year's opening win over Buffalo. Last time this late in a season? It's before 1997, when my weekly records for this statistic began.
4. Sacks AllowedOne of Todd Bowles' and coordinator Chan Gailey's mantras is to limit QB sacks, and that's been achieved remarkably with the two sacks allowed of Ryan Fitzpatrick, easily No. 1 in lowest sack total and sack rate in the league. Further, it's on pace with the 1966 protection of then second-year QB Joe Namath, which allowed one sack through the first five games and nine for the 14-game season.