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With turnover streak over, Carolina Panthers look to start another

1209Panthers_321
David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) has the ball stripped by Carolina Panthers' Quintin Mikell (27) in the second half at of Sunday’s 31-13 victory. The Saints recovered, helping keep the Panthers from forcing a turnover for the first time since Week 13 of 2012.

Last week’s 31-13 loss to New Orleans marked the first time the Carolina Panthers did not create a turnover in an NFL game in more than a year.

That was among the disappointments in the locker room after the game, but middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said the defense is looking to start a new streak this week against the New York Jets.

“That’s one of our goals each week is to force two or more turnovers, and obviously we didn’t get it,” Kuechly said. “We put ourselves in position to get a couple, we just didn’t capitalize. (Quintin Mikell) got one out and the ball was on the ground. We just need to get the ball. We take pride in getting the ball out and picking the ball off and we need to get back to that this week.”

The Panthers are fourth in the NFL in takeaways with 26 – 16 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries. Until the New Orleans game, they had gotten at least one turnover in every game since Week 13 of the 2012 season against the Chiefs.

Mikell forced a Drew Brees’ fumble in the fourth quarter when he sacked the quarterback for a loss of 9 yards, but the ball was recovered by the Saints.

It’d be a good week for the Panthers’ defense to get back to its old ways. The Jets have thrown 21 interceptions and lost seven fumbles, owning a turnover differential of minus-18 compared with the Panthers’ plus-10.

The 28 turnovers are tied for second-most in the NFL behind the New York Giants. Since their bye week four weeks ago, the Jets have turned the ball over 11 times in four games while going 1-3 in that span.

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