Odds of Steelers getting a takeaway against Jets have to be high...right?

Julian Finney

The dam has to break when the Steelers take on the Jets in Week 6. They have to log a takeaway against a rookie quarterback who's turning the ball over twice a game on average. Right?

The Steelers defense not having forced a takeaway is certainly a "man bites dog" storyline. It's noticeable, bizzare and even a little comical.

For everyone except the man who was bitten by that dog, of course.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor still feels confident in his teammates. And why not? The edge on which defensive backs have to perform is thin, with the best finding ways to stay on the positive side of that line. But four games without a turnover?

Ridiculous. Right?

No team in the history of the NFL has started a season with five consecutive games without a turnover. Even the middle-of-the-line optimistic Steelers fans are losing confidence this defense can force but one measly turnover. If they do, it will likely be met with catcalls of "it's about time," or "where has that been all season?"

When will it come? This is historic territory we're talking about here. And fate is giving the Steelers every opportunity to break this funk - a rookie quarterback who's protected the ball worse than nearly any of his position contemporaries.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith has turned the ball over 10 times in five games, and for as moribund as Steelers fans feel about the chances Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger won't turn the ball over (eight turnovers in four games), that's the Jets with Smith.

So a takeaway has to occur when the Steelers' defense goes against the up-and-down Smith, right?

If it doesn't, you're talking about a defense that's so far behind modern times - we're in an era in which teams play for takeaways more than tackles - it's regressed to a point where teams didn't even throw the ball, thus eliminating the majority of takeaways those teams would have in a year.

At some point in this game, the Steelers have to step in a passing lane, confuse Smith, forcing him to throw to the wrong guy or knock it out of his hands as he's looking to throw. They have to hit the ball carrier's hands, jarring the ball loose and fall on it. They have to get a returner to fumble a punt, accidentally kick it into a Steelers' player's arms and fail to wrestle it away.

They have to be on the receiving end of a bad call that resulted in a turnover, and miraculously isn't overturned. They have to catch a tipped pass in the end zone thrown from 50 yards away in a last-ditch chance to score.

This has to happen at some point.


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