Game Ball: Which New England Patriots Player is Awarded the Game Ball This Week?

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For week two, the game ball goes to … defensive end Chandler Jones.

Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Patriots win 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler Jones played in an interior 3-4 defensive end role a week ago against Miami and struggled mightily. Taken out of his outside pass rush role and with the defensive coaches game plan negating his greatest strength–his quickness and speed–the Dolphins were able to run at Jones and block him in the passing game.  When Jones got near Tannehill, he was flagged for two roughing the passer penalties for 30 free yards for the Dolphins.

However, back on the edge this week as outside linebacker in the 3-4 and his more natural 4-3 defensive end, Jones was a start as he registered two sacks and five hurries. Jones set the edge well in the running game as he played a key role in slowing the Adrian Peterson-less Viking rushing attack.

For his great performance on defense, his biggest contribution came on special teams. With 19 seconds to play until halftime, the Vikings were lining up for a 48-yard field goal attempt to cut the Patriots’ lead from 17 to 7 to just a touchdown. Jones busted through the line and made a leaping block of the field goal attempt. Then, for good measure, he scooped up the ball and rumbled all the way to the end zone for a ten point swing making it 27 to 7 at the half i favor of the Patriots.

For a strong game rushing the passer, stuffing the run, and making the huge, game-changing plays that a team expects from a first-round pick and budding star, Chandler Jones is awarded the Game Ball for his week two performance and role in leading the New England Patriots to a 30 to 7 win over the Minnesota Vikings.