Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer 19d

Jets have gone 3,802 plays without a defensive TD ... Hello, Blake Bortles

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Morris Claiborne is new to these parts, so he's still playing catch-up when it comes to New York Jets history. On Thursday, the veteran cornerback learned a little something about the defense -- specifically, its mind-boggling streak of futility when it comes to game-changing plays.

The Jets have gone 60 straight games without a defensive touchdown.

"I had no idea. Oh, man," Claiborne said, laughing. "That'll make it even sweeter [when it happens]."

It's the longest active streak in the NFL, he was told. The second-longest drought belongs to Claiborne's former team, the Dallas Cowboys -- 25 straight.

"I had no idea it's been that long," Claiborne continued. "I've seen (Darrelle) Revis take a couple of them back, but I guess that was a long time ago. I bet not many people know that. Eventually, it has to happen. Hopefully, it happens this Sunday."

Which is precisely why the factoid is relevant.

The Jets play the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose quarterback -- Blake Bortles -- is the master of the pick-six. Of his 53 career interceptions, 11 were returned for a touchdown. The former No. 1 pick began the season with as many pick-sixes as career wins as a starter -- 11.

Bortles is the football version of Matt Harvey. If you can't get one off him, you've got big problems. He should be an automatic slump buster for the Jets, who may need a momentum-changing play by the defense to pull out what figures to be an ugly, low-scoring game.

Don't put too much credence in Bortles' performance last week in London. He played the game of his life, throwing four touchdowns in a rout of the Baltimore Ravens, but it was an aberration. An interception machine doesn't change overnight. Since 2014, he has 53 interceptions (second to Philip Rivers' 56), plus another 16 would-be interceptions that were dropped, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"Hopefully, on Sunday, he can come out doing that and we can capitalize on a couple of them," Claiborne said. "He has a strong arm. He's not afraid to go down the field with the ball. ... You have to play everything honest, play everything from the top down. When those moments happen, you have to capitalize on them."

For the record, the last time Jets returned an interception for a touchdown was on Oct. 20, 2013, when Antonio Allen took one of Tom Brady's passes to the house in an upset of the New England Patriots.

Since Allen's touchdown, the Jets have defended 3,802 plays, and not one of them culminated with a defensive player in possession of the ball in the opponent's end zone.

Let's put that into perspective:

  • That's no defensive touchdowns under a head coach, Todd Bowles, who made his bones as a defensive coach. (Ditto, Rex Ryan, his predecessor.)

  • That's no defensive touchdowns for an organization that has used its last nine first-round picks on defensive players.

Does that make any sense? Of course not.

"I didn't think about [the streak] until you mentioned it," said linebacker Demario Davis, who was on the field that day in 2013. "We want to create turnovers, we want to help our offense score. If we get the opportunity, we want to score, too."

They've been lost in a desert for four years. On Sunday, they could find a Bortles of water.

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