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
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.