In 2011, Brandon Carr was a member of a Kansas City Chiefs team that finished tied for sixth in the NFL in interceptions with 20. Three years later, the cornerback helped the Dallas Cowboys tie for seventh in the league with 18.

Now that he’s part of a Ravens defense that leads the NFL with 16 picks, Carr said he can point to one quality in common.

“The biggest thing for interceptions is the effort,” he said. “When you’ve got guys getting to the ball, good things happen. That’s the old saying. So interceptions are a lot of guys flying to the ball when the ball is in the air, and good things happen for us.”

Interceptions have been abundant this season for the Ravens (5-5), who welcome the Houston Texans (4-6) to M&T Bank Stadium on Monday night. Not only do the Ravens have a two-interception lead over the runner-up Jacksonville Jaguars, they also have returned two for touchdowns. The defense is on pace for 26 interceptions this year and has an outside chance at the franchise record of 28, set in 2006.

The secondary has transitioned smoothly from Leslie Frazier, who coached the unit last season before leaving for the Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator job, to Chris Hewitt, who has been with the team since 2014.

“Chris Hewitt has done a great job with those guys,” coach John Harbaugh said recently. “The system is built really well in terms of the way we run our coverages, but really, it is the guys back there playing. Eric [Weddle] and Tony [Jefferson] are doing a great job of disguising, and our corners are making plays in tight coverage. We have had some batted balls. We have disrupted with our pass rush. Those are the things that generally lead to interceptions, and I just think our guys deserve all the credit for it.”

The Ravens led the league in interceptions last season (18), but two years ago, they ranked dead last with a franchise-worst six, spurring the front office to make some changes.