Patriots: 5 players who must step up in Week 14

5 of 5

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

1. Chandler Jones

Despite having not recorded a sack in three straight games, Jones still finds himself third in the NFL in sacks behind J.J. Watt (13.5) and Ezekiel Ansah (12.5). Jones needs just one more sack to tie his personal best in a season (11.5), and three to tie Watt for the league lead.

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There’s no better time for Jones to show the NFL that he is in Watt’s caliber as a pass rusher than on Sunday Night Football this week. Moreover, the Patriots badly need to put pressure on Brian Hoyer and force Brady’s old backup into poor decisions.

For the Patriots to win this game, they must match the Texans’ pass rush fire. It’s that simple. Brady can’t be getting sacked three, four, five times while Hoyer stands untouched throwing darts to Hopkins. It’s paramount that Jones takes this game by the horns and makes a statement.

Next: Week 14 AFC Power Rankings: Pats fall to No. 3

And hey, a hat trick of sacks would put Jones back into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.