Chandler Jones has been quietly having a fantastic year for the New England Patriots. He leads the team with 10.5 sacks and has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks this season. While there has been some talk, at least prior to the hip injury of CB Aqib Talib as a potential NFL Defensive Player Of The Year, Jones has done more than enough to be in the conversation.
As of right now, Jones is fifth in the league in sacks and only 0.5 sacks behind Mario Williams and Justin Houston for third place. Now that Houston has a dislocated elbow, it is likely that Jones will pass him on the list as well, barring injury. While it is probably a stretch, if he can really step his game up in the coming weeks, he could become the league leader in sacks by the end of the season.
Jones’ biggest competition is undoubtedly Robert Mathis. He has been great for the Indianapolis Colts this year leading the league with 14.5 sacks, and if the season were to end today, it is likely that he would win the award. However, if he were to slow down during the final few weeks of the season, or should he suffer an injury, Jones would be in prime position to supplant him as the league’s sack leader.
To be clear, I am not saying that the award is Jones’ to lose, but he is certainly in the running for it given his excellent play this year. In any case, he has been a great player for the Patriots since being drafted in the first round and he is showing opposing quarterbacks what he is capable of.