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Defensive Notes

Jets Defense

Light in takeaways

I'm seeing a lot of early enthusiasm for the Jets Defense; as in, top-10 kind of interest. I have some interest in fantasy leagues, but I'm not willing to go that high. They've got some nice pieces, but I'm not sure they're there yet.

They've got some pass rush now; I'll give them that. After finishing outside the top 15 in six straight years, they racked up 45 sacks a year ago (7th). Quinnen Williams, a returning-from-injury Carl Lawson and first-rounder Jermaine Johnson give them a nice group to work with.

And they've got the rookie defender of the year in shutdown corner Sauce Gardner (pictured). With him in the secondary, they ranked 2nd against the pass and had a top-5 overall defense in both yards and points allowed. It's a good NFL defense.

But they've got some work to do in terms of opportunism; translating that pass rush and stingy secondary into takeaways. In that regard, they need to show they can do it.

In each of the last two seasons, New York has been a lesser group in interceptions and fumble recoveries, the lifeblood of fantasy scoring systems. Nobody has fallen on fewer loose footballs than the Jets the last two seasons, and only the Raiders have fewer interceptions and fewer total takeaways.

Table shows team fumble recoveries, interceptions and takeaways the last two seasons, sorted by total takeaways.

TEAM TAKEAWAYS, 2021-2022
TeamFR21Int21Tk21FR22Int22Tk22IntFRTake
Dallas82634171633422567
New England72330111930421860
Buffalo111930101727362157
Indianapolis141933111021292554
Houston81725111627331952
Green Bay8182671724351550
San Francisco11920102030292150
Minnesota81624101525311849
Tampa Bay121729101020272249
Kansas City14152991120262349
LA Rams6192561622351247
Arizona14132791120242347
Pittsburgh9132232023331245
Cincinnati81321111324261945
LA Chargers101121101424252045
Philadelphia41216101727291443
Seattle71118111425251843
Tennessee6162261420301242
Denver6131981523281442
Detroit81119101222231841
NY Giants7152213619212041
Baltimore6915111425231740
Miami1214266814221840
New Orleans718257714251439
Cleveland6131991120241539
Chicago881691423221739
Atlanta8122071017221537
Washington811199918201737
Jacksonville279131427211536
Carolina791671017191433
NY Jets771441216191130
Las Vegas96157613121628

With the young talent and the pass rush, plus the idea that the overall team will win more games (with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback), the Jets should have an improved fantasy defense. Right now, they're in my top 15. But that's about as high as I'm willing to go until they show a little more in the takeaway department.

--Andy Richardson

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