The Ravens might have found the perfect opponent to end their turnover drought.
Like the Ravens, the Jaguars come into Sunday's game with a minus-7 turnover ratio; both teams are tied for the third-worst turnover ratio in the league. Quarterback Blake Bortles has thrown 10 interceptions, with at least one in four straight games.
In other words, the odds are the Ravens will finally record a takeaway, something that hasn't happened since Week 3 against Cincinnati. The Ravens returned a fumble for a touchdown in that game -- their only defensive fumble recovery all season -- and also had an interception. Since then, the Ravens have gone nearly 5 1/2 games without a pick.
The Ravens (2-6) are on pace for six interceptions, which would shatter the previous franchise record-low of 11, set in 2005 and tied last season.
"We have not gotten enough turnovers," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said on Wednesday. "If we’re getting turnovers, our record is dramatically different. Those games could have turned on one turnover."
Cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has two of the Ravens' three interceptions, said, “Part of that is just going out there and being aggressive sometimes – going out and hitting the ball carrier. There are things you can’t do at practice that you have to do in the game, like putting a helmet on a ball, punching a ball out."
If there's one team that can relate to the Ravens issues, it is Jacksonville. The Jaguars went five games without an interception earlier this year, and like the Ravens, have just three all season. Last year, the Jaguars tied for last in the league with six pickoffs.
"We’ve got to do a better job, too, defensively getting turnovers, and I think every team in the league preaches turnovers or creating take-aways," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said in a conference call with Baltimore media.
"You just have trust that (turnovers) will eventually come. ... Sometimes getting the quarterback off the spot or (applying) pressure or forcing him to make quick decisions, that sometimes gives you opportunities for interceptions," he added.
Bortles knows plenty about pressure; the Jaguars allowed a franchise-record 71 sacks last season and have allowed 25 so far this year. A good pass rush is a secondary's best friend, and the Ravens --- and Jaguars -- will be hoping that pressure might lead to interceptions, which have come far too infrequently this year.
"Our defense has a history of getting turnovers," Harbaugh said. "It’s how we expect to play defense, and we’re emphasizing it. We’re trying to create schemes to create those opportunities, and we’re trying to create the level of energy that you need to find the football.”
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