Patriots: Chandler Jones Becoming True Superstar


Chandler Jones has been a solid player for the New England Patriots over the years. He rarely makes mistakes, gets pressure on the quarterback at times and has made plays in pressure situations. Jones has been a nice player who does not hurt the Patriots’ defense, but he has not exactly been the absolute force the Patriots expected when they traded up to take Jones with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

That is, until now.

Jones has taken his game to another level this season, and is truly becoming a bright star in the Patriots’ defense. It all starts with his pass rush ability. Jones currently leads the NFL with 8.5 sacks on the season. He is actually tied with Houston Texans star J.J. Watt for the league lead, but the Texans have played in eight games while the Patriots have only played seven.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Jones is the first player with the Patriots under Bill Belichick to lead the NFL in sacks through eight weeks, and is the first Patriots’ player to ever have eight or more sacks before the team’s ninth game. Even when he is not getting all the way to the quarterback for a sack, Jones is still getting pressure, leading the Patriots in both pressures with 26 and quarterback hits with eight.

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In comparison, Jones’ career high in sacks came in 2013 when he has 11.5. In the other two years of his career, Jones finished with six sacks, both in 2012 and 2014. Clearly, he has found a way to take his pass rush skills to the next level.

Typically, teams will run the ball at a defense’s best pass rusher. Running straight at the guy typically allows a premier pass rusher to take himself out of the play because he is more worried about using his skill-set to get to the passer.

Not Jones. The Patriots’ defensive end is a complete player who does an incredible job of getting off of blockers and making plays against the run as well. He uses his impressive pass rush moves similarly in the run game to get away from blockers. His success against the run stands out on the field, and teams typically do not even consider running the ball his way.

With an incredible combination of pass rush skills and ability against the run, Jones has turned himself into one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL. He is a complete force up front for opposing defenses to deal with.

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Jones is obviously going to be an extremely important player for the Patriots as they look to defend the Lombardi Trophy. It took a few years to get there, but Jones has become everything they had hoped when they traded up to select him at number 21.