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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.