New York Jets: The lone defensive issue that needs to change quickly

Nov 6, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner (1) celebrates his interception with teammates during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets defense has attained some incredible success all throughout the 2022 season. Led by recent top-five picks Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner, the group has been a blast to watch all year.

Overall, the unit ranks third in the NFL, allowing 305.4 yards per game. They are fourth in both pass defense and scoring. Against the run, the Jets’ defense is the 11th-best unit in football.

With all of that being said, the Jets are on a three-game losing streak, and unfortunately for the defense, there has been one consistent issue. Turnovers.

The New York Jets defense has got to start generating turnovers:

Over this three-game skid, the Jets’ defense has not taken the ball away from an opponent one time. Throughout the last five games, they have had one total turnover. Nowhere near good enough.

When going over team rankings, similar to the stats highlighted above, the lone area not quite ranking so well for the Jets’ defense is their turnover amount.

This year, the Jets’ defense has 15 total takeaways (12 of which are interceptions). That total only places them above six teams in the NFL. They are tied for 20th with six other teams. On a per-game average, the Jets are taking the ball away slightly over once a game (1.1 takeaways).

The three fumbles picked up by the Jets this year are tied for the worst in the NFL.

The Jets also happen to now rank toward the bottom of the league (tied for 24th with two other teams) when it comes to the turnover differential. They are currently -3, again only ahead of six teams throughout the league. The Jets have lost the turnover battle in each of the last three games over this losing streak.

This is a complete drop-off compared to the start of the season. The Jets were consistently taking the ball away over their 6-3 start to the year (14 turnovers, 1.6 per game).

With the Jets now 7-7, only guaranteed three more games fighting for a playoff berth, this third-ranked defense needs to start taking the football away from opponents. The unit undoubtedly has all the talent needed to do so on all three levels. With the entire season at stake over these final three games, turnovers will be key in whether or not the Jets make the playoffs.