The Jacksonville Jaguars entered Week 11 with a streak of 23 consecutive quarters without forcing a turnover. In a season where everything has gone wrong, the Jaguars are struggling to even have something accidentally go right, but finally got a break near the end of the first quarter against the Detroit Lions.
Lions wide receiver Andre Roberts muffed a punt and the Jaguars were able to jump on top for a recovery.
The last turnover forced by the Jaguars before Week 11 was less than five minutes into a Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts, when defensive end Yannick Ngakoue hauled in a tipped pass from Andrew Luck for an interception. The Jaguars then finished five consecutive games without forcing a turnover.
The streak of 23 consecutive quarters without forcing turnover tied the 2011 Indianapolis Colts for the longest ever in the Super Bowl era.
If the Jaguars extended the streak to six games by not forcing a turnover against the Lions, it would have been the longest streak since the Lions somehow went 13 games without a takeaway during a span that stretched the 1937 and 1938 seasons. The 2016 Lions entered the week having only turned the ball over six times, the second-fewest in the NFL, so the Jaguars’ chances at ending the streak didn’t look great.
Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin on the team's streak of 23 quarters without forcing a turnover: "Oh, it's in our heads."— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) November 13, 2016
It’s not that the Jaguars didn’t have opportunities either. In the five turnover-free games there were a pair of fumbles that Jacksonville wasn’t able to jump on top of, and an easy interception that the Jaguars’ defense managed to knock away from itself.
Jacksonville paid big money in the offseason to upgrade the defense, signing Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara in free agency, and drafting Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack and Ngakoue in the 2016 NFL Draft.
While those investments helped improve the Jaguars to No. 8 in the NFL in total defense in 2016, the unit is still No. 25 in points allowed. The team’s NFL-worst turnover margin of -14 is likely the No. 1 reason why.