Biggest Takeaways from New York Jets' Week 6 Win
They did a great job of building a supporting cast, but with a new coaching staff and a shaky depth chart at quarterback, the Jets were not expected to be a playoff contender in 2015. The Jets may be a better team from top to bottom than they were in 2014, but it sometimes takes a little grace period for all those pieces to come together and for the coach's vision to start taking effect.
The Jets are proving they could be an exception to the rule.
They face their biggest test yet in Week 7 when they travel to face the undefeated New England Patriots, so perhaps this could be the first indication as to whether the Jets truly have a playoff team on their hands or whether they've simply feasted on a weak opening schedule.
For now, here are some takeaways from the Jets' resounding 34-20 win over the Washington Redskins.
The Jets Have Morphed into a Well-Disciplined Team
Who are these Week 6 Jets, and what have they done with the Week 4 Jets?
Just two weeks ago, the Jets were whistled for 14 penalties worth 163 yards against the Miami Dolphins. Fast forward to the game after the bye week, and the Jets were penalized just once for five yards all game.
This is a level of discipline the likes of which we haven't seen from the Jets in years. In fact, the last time they were whistled for one or fewer penalties was on December 19, 2012. We might be looking at two anomalies—the Jets had as many penalties in Week 4 as they had in Weeks 2 and 3 combined, and it had been nearly as long (since September 22, 2013) since the Jets had 14 or more penalties in a game.
The Jets' ability to play disciplined football for 60 minutes is an indication that they are taking well to their coaching and doing everything in their power not to be the reason they lose games.
Might as Well Stop Trying to Run on the Jets Defensive Line
The Redskins ran into a brick wall every time they tried to run the ball on Sunday against the Jets defensive line. By holding the Redskins to 17 rushes for 34 yards and just two yards a carry, the Jets defense had its best day of the season against the run.
Defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson all made plays in the running game, but they also did a great job of soaking up blockers up front to allow linebackers David Harris and Demario Davis to make tackles behind them.
At this point in the season, the Jets' opponents are averaging roughly 24 carries for 83 yards per game, and 3.5 yards per carry on the ground. They are in the top five in every defensive rushing category that matters, except for rush attempts, where they are No. 6.
That being said, the Jets are playing a stifling brand of defense no matter where you look—that's why they're the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL through Week 6.
Darrelle Revis Might Be the League's Best Defensive Player This Year
There are a handful of defensive players playing at Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis' level—Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston and Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman come to mind. Right now, though, Revis is on an island of his own.
Revis started just a little slow—at least by his own island-like standards—in allowing receptions on eight of the first 15 throws into his coverage, but he has picked up his game very quickly. On Sunday, Revis was targeted five times and allowed just two completions for eight yards and a touchdown with an athletic interception.
It was the first touchdown Revis has allowed all season and the second he has allowed since Week 14 of the 2014 season (12 games).
According to stats website Pro Football Focus, Revis is one of the five best cornerbacks in the NFL in nearly every efficiency metric they have: cover snaps per target (8.1 ranks ninth), yards per cover snap (0.60 ranks third), cover snaps per reception (18.4 ranks fourth) and passer rating (32.8 ranks second).
The Jets paid a king's ransom to sign Revis as a free agent, and so far, their investment is paying off.
Mistake-Free Offense Is Attainable, and Successful
For 30 minutes, the Jets had a hard time staying out of their own way. Three turnovers resulted in 13 points for the Redskins, which led to New York's three-point halftime deficit.
But for the Jets to be trailing by just three points despite coughing up two fumbles and an interception, they had to be feeling pretty good about their chances if they simply stopped shooting themselves in the foot.
Once they did, the Jets started to roll. Twenty-four points later, the Jets had turned a three-point deficit into a three-touchdown lead. Of course, the next time they allowed points was once again a result of a miscue on special teams, when punter Ryan Quigley had a punt blocked in the end zone.
The Jets still have not played a turnover-free game, but we saw a glimpse of what it might look like if the Jets start playing mistake-free.
Ground-and-Pound Sticking Around Even Without Rex Ryan
Jets running back Chris Ivory may be one of the best pure runners in the NFL. He's also one of the toughest runners in the league, as evidenced by his second-ranked average of 3.25 yards per carry after contact. He doesn't have dynamic breakaway speed, but he doesn't get enough credit for having some nice moves. He bounces off runners with ease, but on Sunday, he ran around them, too.
He may just be hitting his stride, too. After missing Week 3 with a groin injury, Ivory has totaled 49 carries for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. That's more than any other back in the NFL in their previous two games.
The Jets may want to air it out to wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, but offensive coordinator Chan Gailey must resist the temptation to take the ball out of the hands of his most reliable player in Ivory in favor of putting the ball into the sometimes shaky hands of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
As we speak, the Jets are the second-most balanced team in the NFL, with 48.5 percent runs and 51.5 percent passes according to TeamRankings.com. Maintaining that balance is paramount to their offensive success.
Unless otherwise noted, all advanced statistics obtained via ProFootballFocus.com.