FLORHAM PARK, NJ - Unless this is your first time ever reading an article on football you have undoubtedly heard about how important it is for offenses to avoid turning the ball over. So, apologies for making you read it yet again but it seems even more vital than usual this week and Ryan Fitzpatrick knows this.
The Giants defense has not been good this season, and honestly that description is mighty generous, they rank 19th in rushing defense (allowing 110.5 yards per game at 4.0 yards per carry) and dead last against the pass (allowing 309 yards per game and 7.9 yards per attempt). Stats are often overrated and tend to not tell the complete story due to a lack of context, however these stats paint a pretty accurate picture of the Giants defense this season with one exception. As bad as the Giants defense has been in every other area there is one particular area they have been great at and it's a pretty important area to be great at.
The Giants defense has forced 22 turnovers so far this year (14 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries) through 11 games, which of course works out to an average of two forced turnovers per game. The good news for Jets fans is the Jets defense is right there with the Giants, tied for the second most turnovers in the NFL, with 22 turnovers. The bad news for Fitzpatrick is in order to continue playing as well as he did last week he'll have to be extra careful to avoid turning the ball over against an extremely opportunistic defense.
"They're aggressive, they do a lot of different stuff schematically," Fitzpatrick said. "It's kind of tough to get a feel for exactly what's coming just because they mix it up a lot and they create a lot of turnovers. And that'll be a big theme for us this week because they've done such a great job of either getting interceptions or getting the ball out."
The Giants defense is allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 66.5 percent of their passes and they only have 12 sacks on the season. With the confidence the Jets offense picked up from the beating they delivered to the Dolphins last week they have to be feeling good about all the different ways that they can beat this defense, but however they choose to attack the Giants they must be careful not to derail any progress by handing the Giants turnovers.
The Jets are the more talented team and they should be able to win this game but the easiest way to envision the Jets losing is, of course, if they lose the turnover battle. No fumbles, no interceptions and no muffed punts. This Jets offense is more than equipped enough to tally up yards and points against the Giants defense, but it's the turnovers that could potentially derail this game for them and one receiver on the Jets has somone, specifically, in mind that the Jets must be wary of.
"They give you so many different looks and what really jumps out, off the screen, is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie," Brandon Marshall said. "I mean this guy is making play after play, whenever there's a big play on that side of the ball he's usually around it. Whether it's a big hit, and the ball comes out and goes up in the air and another guy picks it or he's pick-sixing. This guy is really good."
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (email@example.com)