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9. Chandler Jones and his career season
Right behind J.J. Watt in the sacks category is Chandler Jones, whose 10.5 sacks represent what will be a career year for the fourth-year pro out of Syracuse. Jones recorded 11.5 sacks back in 2013, so all he needs is one sack in the remaining six games to reach that personal best.
Jones’ season has been characterized by three multiple-sack performances. The first came back in Week 2 when he terrorized Tyrod Taylor by registering a hat trick of sacks on the Bills’ quarterback. In Week 6 against the Colts, Jones dragged Andrew Luck down 2.5 times, and two weeks later, he notched a pair of Ryan Tannehill sacks.
In addition, Jones had a sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 7, Kirk Cousins in Week 9 and Eli Manning in Week 10. Two of those 10.5 sacks have been strip-sacks, which gave Tom Brady and the offense an extra possession which contributed significantly to the wins over the Jets and Giants.
Jones is the focal point of a potent Patriots’ pass rush that has been instrumental in the defense’s standout performance this season, and that’s something to be thankful for.
Next: 8. Edelman and Amendola