Through the first three weeks of the season, the Jets defense has been every bit as good as anticipated, if not better.
"I wouldn't put our defense second to nobody," S Antonio Allen said. "We're looking really good."
Ranked in the NFL's top seven in pass yards, rush yards and points, there's not much to criticize with the way our defenders have performed thus far.
But there's always a "but."
"We're playing great defense, hands down," Allen said, "but we just have to get some takeaways."
After forcing two turnovers vs. Tampa Bay in Week 1, the Green & White has failed to come up with an interception or fumble recovery against either of its two most recent opponents.
"We haven't created as many as we're capable of," DE Muhammad Wilkerson said, "but Rex [Ryan] spoke to us and that's something we're working on."
Creating a turnover is no easy task, especially as the Jets prepare to face off against the Tennessee Titans. Led by third-year QB Jake Locker and sixth-year RB Chris Johnson, they and the Kansas City Chiefs boast the only two offenses in football without a turnover.
CB Darrin Walls has been particularly impressed with Locker's passing accuracy while scrambling.
"They get him out of the pocket a lot and he's able to complete passes on the run," he said. "Plus, if no one's open, he throws it away. He doesn't take many chances, so I think he's managed that part of the game very well."
Locker has gone 19 straight quarters without throwing a pick, dating to Week 16 of the 2012 season. Nevertheless, that streak's inevitably going to come to an end at some point.
In addition, after tying for the league lead among running backs with four fumbles lost last year, Johnson has yet to cough up the football this season.
It would appear that the Tennessee offense is due for a turnover.
"Rex has challenged the defense to try to come up with some of those takeaways this week," Allen said, "so we're just trying to put our main focus on that and cause some turnovers."
While our defense has been emphasizing takeaways, our offense has been working on limiting the giveaways.
The Jets head coach was impressed with QB Geno Smith's incompletions — yes, incompletions — in the Week 3 win over the Bills.
"He threw four or five balls away where he wasn't going to force the issue," he said. "He's mindful of that. He's not going to make the critical error."
Whether our offense cuts down on the giveaways or our defense forces the Titans to share the wealth, the Jets will attempt to win the turnover battle on Sunday and, ultimately, the game.
|THE TURNOVER CHALLENGE|