Jets defense looking to come up with more turnovers
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Sheldon Richardson thinks it's pretty easy to point out what's wrong with the New York Jets.
And the solutions, the big defensive lineman says, are just as simple.
''Yeah, turnovers, score, things of that nature,'' Richardson said Friday.
A quarterback switch from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Geno Smith was the focus this week for an offense that has struggled mightily with a league-low 15.8 points per game.
But the Jets also are ranked 23rd in overall defense, an alarmingly low spot for a team coached by the defensive-minded Todd Bowles, whose squad finished fourth overall last season.
New York has allowed 27.3 points per game, which ranks 25th in the NFL, and the passing defense is 28th.
''We've got to execute,'' Richardson said. ''We can't blame everything on play-calling. It's mainly us, so we've got to make sure we execute.''
The biggest culprit might be the four measly takeaways: two interceptions by Marcus Williams, a fumble recovery by Richardson and Kansas City running back Spencer Ware losing control of the football and his fumble bouncing into the end zone and out of bounds.
That's it. Tied for 31st in the league, one more than the Giants.
''We've got to get our hands on more balls, whether it's tipped passes, turnovers or anything,'' Bowles said. ''Last year, we got a bunch of turnovers. This year, we haven't gotten them yet.''
New York had five alone in the first game of last season, and finished tied for third in the league with 30 overall.
''You can't force plays,'' cornerback Darrelle Revis said. ''You've just got to let them happen. They haven't happened for us at the start of the season, but at the same time, we've still got to focus, do our jobs and when they come, they're going to come in bunches.
''We're waiting for that, and hopefully we can start doing that this coming Sunday.''
The Jets (1-5) take on the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), who have done a good job of taking care of the football.
They've turned the ball over just eight times, including four interceptions by Joe Flacco. But the Ravens quarterback hasn't been picked off in 151 attempts, the third-longest streak in franchise history, dating to his second interception of the game against Jacksonville on Sept. 25.
''I feel like if we get a turnover, they'll just keep coming,'' said cornerback Buster Skrine, echoing Revis' comments. ''Last year, we got a turnover in the first game and they just kept coming. It's time for us to pick it up.''
It appeared the Jets were off to a good start with Williams getting interceptions in each of the first two games of the season. But other than Gilchrist's play against the Chiefs in Week 3, Richardson's fumble recovery two weeks ago has been the only other takeaway by the Jets this season.
''It's not even just (turnovers),'' Richardson said. ''Just preventing points, you can still be a great defense. We're not doing that. So, even on that note, that's what it comes down to. Just not getting off the field on third down and we balled there last year, so we've just got to get back to it.
''We've got to make plays.''
New York ranked first in the league in red-zone defense (35 percent) last season, and third overall in third-down defense (33.19 percent).
This year, the numbers are far from what would be expected from a defense that many considered one of the NFL's best entering the season. The Jets are 24th in the red zone (64.71 percent) and 20th in third-down situations (40.3).
Cheering home fans can be a factor in helping making things tough for opposing offenses. New York is playing its first game at MetLife Stadium in three weeks, and Richardson knows the crowd support directly depends on how they perform.
''We would like it, but you've got to give them something to cheer for,'' Richardson said. ''We're not blind to that fact, either. It's just that simple. You can't be cheering and you can't be happy if you're getting scored on.''
NOTES: Richardson and WR Brandon Marshall downplayed their heated spat in the locker room after the Jets' Week 3 loss at Kansas City. ''It's locker-room business,'' Richardson said. ''That's what it's supposed to be.'' Marshall said it was just a case of ''two leaders in this locker room trying to figure out a way to win.'' The argument never got physical, and Bowles addressed them and the rest of the team. ''It was really nothing,'' Bowles said. ''You lose a game, people get frustrated and you move on.'' ... In his first comments since having hip surgery Tuesday, WR Eric Decker told ESPN New York Radio's ''Hahn and Humpty Show'' that he's ''not worried about missing any time next year.'' Decker, on IR with a shoulder injury, had the hip surgery that requires six months of recovery. Once he's off crutches in ''a few weeks,'' he'll have the shoulder surgery, which is an eight-month recovery period.
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