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Rex Ryan: We're the Best Team in the NFL

Does best record equal best team?

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 3:36 PM EDT
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Rex Ryan: We're the Best Team in the NFL

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The Jets are on their cursed bye week, which means that we won't have a chance to watch them try to extend their winning streak to six games for two whole weeks.

It's hard to know just what we'll do with all this free time. The Yankees are still in action, although after last night they might not be around for the entire two weeks. There are probably some things that have been pushed down the old to-do list thanks to the weekly appointment viewing and it might be a good time to get back in touch with any family and friends who don't schedule their lives around Mark Sanchez's work schedule.

Or you could just spend two weeks mulling over a parting shot from Rex Ryan's Monday press conference. Ryan was asked if he agreed with Bill Parcells' theory that the team with the best record in the league was the best team in the league. We'll share Ryan's answer, although anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention can already guess where he comes down on this debate. 

"Well, Parcells was right.  You are what your record says.  Again, we need to improve as a team.  I think we will.  I see our team having an opportunity to get better and better as the year goes on.  5-1 is good enough to be in first place, and have the best record in football, so absolutely, it’s hard to say that we’re not the best team in the league."

The theory is a pretty sound one, especially in a season like this one. No team made it through four games with an undefeated record and every team in the NFC has at least two losses. Navigating the weekly minefield and coming out with a better record than everyone else is a pretty convincing argument of superiority.

That said, it's not really that hard to come up with alternative theories for the league's top dog. The Jets are very good, but their defense hasn't been the shutdown unit that anyone expected it to be and there have still been chunks of almost every game when the offense hasn't been able to move the ball. In fact, it's a lot harder to argue with Ryan's call for improvement than it is to argue for another team being ahead of them in a mythical pecking order.

The nice thing about the NFL is that pecking orders only remain mythical for so long. The Steelers, who have an awfully strong case for the top rung, host the Jets on December 19th in a game that could be as hyped as any regular season game in memory if both teams stay the course until then.

And if the Jets don't stay the course than we've got a pretty clear answer to the question of whether or not they're the best.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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