Jaguars can set dubious NFL mark for games without takeaway
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Given how the season has played out for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's probably fitting they are on the verge of making NFL history for futility.
The Jaguars (2-7) have gone nearly six games - more than 23 quarters or 289 minutes, 21 seconds to be exact - without a takeaway.
The five-game streak is tied for the longest drought in the NFL since the 1970 merger, according to Pro Football Reference. Washington (2006), Indianapolis (2011), St. Louis (2012), Philadelphia (2012) and Baltimore (2015) also went five games without a takeaway.
Jacksonville can set the mark Sunday at Detroit (5-4). Since the Lions are tied for second in the NFL with just six turnovers in nine games, the Jaguars can't count on getting any help, either.
''Oh, it's in our heads,'' cornerback Aaron Colvin acknowledged. ''We've got to find a way to get the ball. I feel like guys are conscious of trying to get the ball and stealing possessions, but it's just not being handed to us, I can say. Sometimes with turnovers it's tricky because if you start forcing it then bad things can happen and you start playing out of the defense, playing out of yourself. I really don't have any answers for you.''
The Jaguars, who have dropped four in a row, had never gone more than three games without a takeaway before this season.
Contributing factors are a lack of consistent pass rush - Jacksonville has four sacks in the last five games - and rarely playing with the lead. The Jaguars have led for just 2 minutes, 49 seconds during those games.
The streak should have ended two weeks ago at Kansas City and again last week against Houston .
Against the Chiefs, Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara was in position to catch Nick Foles' overthrow in the middle of the field when safety Tashaun Gipson crashed in him while trying to get the pick.
Last week, linebacker Paul Posluszny had a bead on Brock Osweiler's errant pass across the middle when teammate Malik Jackson stuck out a hand and deflected the ball away.
''It's more execution than bad luck,'' Posluszny said. ''We're not giving our offense the opportunities they need. Another game without a takeaway is the most disappointing part of (the game). We can play very sound fundamental defense, but we have to make plays that impact the game.''
It hasn't happened, and the Jaguars are minus-12 in turnover differential during the streak. Jacksonville is minus-14 on the season, last in the NFL . Coach Gus Bradley's team has just five takeaways on the season.
The last one came during a 30-27 victory against Indianapolis in London on Oct. 2.
Defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. came free on a line stunt and tipped Andrew Luck's pass in the first quarter. The deflected ball landed in rookie Yannick Ngakoue's hands and led to a touchdown.
Jacksonville's last takeaway on American soil came Sept. 23 against Baltimore, when Fowler hit Joe Flacco's arm as he was releasing the ball. Posluszny hauled in the wobbly pass late in the fourth quarter. It led to a field-goal attempt, which was blocked, and the Jaguars ended up losing 19-17.
Now, nearly two months later, the Jags on the verge of making NFL history.
''We've just got to do more to get the ball out,'' defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. ''It has to be more than luck. We have to put ourselves in great positions. ... We just got to do better. We've got to do more. We've just got to do more, man.''
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