One of the biggest criticisms of the New England Patriots 2016 defense has been their inability to generate turnovers. The Patriots are in a tie for the 4th fewest takeaways in the NFL (ahead of the Jaguars, Bears, and Colts). Only the Jaguars, Colts, and Cowboys have forced fewer than the Patriots 5 interceptions.
Oh, and two of those interceptions belong to former LB Jamie Collins.
Luckily, the New York Jets have decided to help the Patriots as head coach Todd Bowles named Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting quarterback in week 12.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will start vs. the #Patriots. When asked why, Bowles says “he’s healthy”— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) November 21, 2016
Fitzpatrick lost the starting job after nine games of terrible play. Back-up QB Bryce Petty led the Jets offense to a laughable 6 points in week 10, so Fitzpatrick is back in control of the offense.
Fitzpatrick currently holds the lowest passer rating in the NFL (67.6) and is tied with Jaguars QB Blake Bortles for the most interceptions (13). He has also fumbled 7 times.
If the Patriots are ever going to get a jump start with the takeaways, this will be the game. If they cannot force an interception or record a fumble recovery against Fitzpatrick, then the defense has no hopes of ever winning the turnover battle in 2016.