Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/25/13
Chandler Jones is on pace to have the most productive pass-rushing season of any Patriot in the Bill Belichick era. Ratchet it up a notch and he might have the best year of any quarterback-seeking missile since Andre Tippett terrorized offensive backfields three decades ago. Jones who has 6.5 sacks is on pace for 15 quarterback takedowns this season and the Patriots need him to maintain a steady defensive performance particularly with some of their sturdiest players down for the count. The 6-foot-5 265-pound Jones has made noticeable strides in his second season and has become one of the most electric players on the defense. But he dismissed any notion of satisfaction with his performance. “You can never be complacent” Jones said. “We’re not even in midseason yet and you’ve got to just keep going. My biggest thing is just trying to help this team. My biggest goal is to put the weight on my shoulders help the team try to get to the quarterback and just pressure the quarterback. I feel like it’s my personal goal to get to the quarterback and that’s what I try to do.” Jones had six sacks through eight games as a rookie but a pair of ankle injuries greatly limited him in the second half. As a result he increased his upper-body strength in the offseason believing he was relying too much on his legs. It has evened out his distribution of power on the field. Jones has the makings of one of the most prolific seasons of any pass rusher in the Belichick era. Mike Vrabel’s 12.5 sacks in 2007 are the most and Andre Carter (2011) Mark Anderson (2011) and Tully Banta-Cain (2009) were the others to reach double digits. The Patriots need Jones to keep it up against the Dolphins whose 26 sacks allowed are the fourth most in the NFL. Plus if cornerback Aqib Talib can’t play again due to his hip injury the Pats’ pass rush will be needed to alleviate the stress on the secondary. That might be why the Pats re-signed Carter this week. While the 34-year-old boosts the depth at defensive end Carter could take some of Jones’ reps at defensive tackle in the pass-rushing package.
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