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Giants to focus on creating turnovers

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants warms

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants warms up before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Ron Antonelli

There are two things the Giants haven't done this year that seem to go hand in hand. The first is win a game. The second is force a takeaway on defense.

They seem confident that both situations are about to be rectified. So while the Giants believe they will beat the Texans Sunday at MetLife Stadium and end their mini-skid to start the season before it turns into a legitimate free fall, the key may be getting the ball away from their opponent.

"We need turnovers," defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. "Turnovers win games. We have to get turnovers, no matter what. We have to strip the ball and try to get fumbles. Whatever way we can get it. Interceptions."

The Giants have lost the last 12 games in which they did not have a takeaway and started the season with two such games for the first time since 1972. That's a pretty long dry spell for a secondary that was supposed to be among the league's elite.

"We just have to keep fighting," said cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who had one of several opportunities for an interception last week. "I know it's going to come. With the players we have on the field and the coaches coaching, it's going to come. It's just unfortunate it hasn't come yet. That's surprising. But it's going to come."

Facing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick usually would seem like a cure-all for that kind of situation. He was known for his untimely picks during his tenure in Buffalo, leading the league with 23 of them in 2011. With the Texans this year, though, he has yet to throw an interception.

A lot of that has to do with the offense he is leading. The Texans run the ball more often than any other team in the league, about 65 percent of the time. And they don't ask Fitzpatrick to take risks throwing the ball downfield.

"Ryan Fitzpatrick has played very well, managed the game extremely well for his team," coach Tom Coughlin said.

The Giants are one of three teams in the league that have yet to record a takeaway. The others are the Chiefs and Steelers. Together they have a combined record of 1-5.

It certainly doesn't help the Giants' results that they also lead the league in giveaways with six, five of them on offense. This after leading the league in turnovers and posting the highest turnover differential last year.

The Giants have had chances. Antrel Rolle forced a fumble in Week 1 that was recovered by the Lions. Rodgers-Cromartie and safety Stevie Brown both got their hands on passes that could have been picked off against the Cardinals.

"I thought we had a couple of chances for interceptions," Coughlin said. "Why we're not playing the ball as sharply as we need to [I don't know].''

Rolle has a theory.

"You have to take chances," he said. "I don't feel like we're taking enough chances as a defense as far as believing what we see. If you see it, go get it. If they make a play, we line up and we play again. You have to take chances. You can't be a defense that's scared to get beat or, you know, not sure, second-guessing yourselves. We're all smart guys. We all have played the game a long time, so if you see it, you've got to go get it."

Rodgers-Cromartie agreed with that. But he also knows that the first takeaway -- just like the first victory -- is often the most difficult one to secure.

"When they start rolling, they come," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "We had a couple of opportunities. We get another chance, we'll make it count."

New York Sports