Forcing turnovers not a pressing issue for Jets

Dawan Landry interception
Dawan Landry had the Jets’ only interception of the season against the Bucs.
Credit: Getty Images

It would seem like the Jets don’t have much room to improve on defense with the league’s No. 2 unit. But turnovers — and creating more of them — is a major focus for this team heading into Monday night’s game at the Falcons.

The revamped Jets defense is near the top of the NFL in several statistical categories, but one area where they are at the bottom is in turnovers. They are No. 28 in the league with just one interception and one fumble recovery. For a unit that has done a very good job of rebuilding its image after a very average 2012, the inability to create turnovers is a point of emphasis.

“It goes hand-in-hand — pass rush with the coverage, coverage with the pass rush,” safety Dawan Landry said. “Opportunities will come. The front seven is doing a tremendous job of getting a pass rush. Tips, fumbles, bad passes will come.”

The goal of the defense on every play is to make a stop and then create a turnover, so it isn’t like the Jets aren’t trying to do that already. But part of the reason why the Jets are not creating turnovers might be because they’re so dominant in other areas.

They are in the top eight in the league in third-down percentage, limiting offenses to just a 24 percent conversion rate. Outside of the Jets’ loss on Sunday, where the defense was handicapped by a short field as rookie quarterback Geno Smith turned the ball over four times, the defense has been getting off the field quickly.

The more three-and-outs the defense has, the fewer opportunities for the unit to create turnovers. After all, in the first three games they were consistently forcing punts and getting off the field.

“You get guys wrapped up, and somebody has to get after the ball. We really need to get after the ball more,” defensive end Sheldon Richardson said. “[Head coach] Rex [Ryan] wants us to be No. 1 in every category. Everything goes together and to be a dominant defense, so we should be at top of every category, no matter what. So it’s as simple as us doing what we need to do.”

As for the lack of turnovers, it isn’t something that has the Falcons thinking any less of their opponent. Falcons head coach Mike Smith sees a unit that is dominant, even if the lack of interceptions and fumbles is telling.

“I think turnovers come in bunches usually. I think they’re doing a very good job against run. They’re making it very difficult for people to run on them,” Smith said on a Thursday conference call with the New York media. “They have a cover corner who can take away your No. 1 receiver if they chose to play him that way and at times they do that with Antonio Cromartie. It’s a very physical group.”

The number that matters most to the Jets right now is the one on the scoreboard, and despite the blip at the Titans this past Sunday, they’ve been very good this season at keeping their opponents out of the end zone. So the turnovers — or lack thereof — may be an area for improvement but it doesn’t dominate their thinking.

“The important number is keeping teams from scoring points and so far, we’re doing pretty well with that. That’s what the most important thing is,” Landry said. “If we keep doing that, then we’ll be OK. We need to keep playing Jets football and Jets defense. If we do that, then everything else will come.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

National

Pennsylvania police shooter manhunt near home of suspect's…

A police manhunt intensified on Friday for the gunman who killed an officer and wounded another in an ambush at a Pennsylvania police barracks a week ago.

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

NFL

Jets vs. Bears: 3 things to watch

Jets fans likely chalked up Monday's matchup with the Bears as a loss when the NFL schedule came out. But given their team's play so…

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

3 things we learned as Giants pick up…

The Giants picked up their first win of the season over the Texans.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.