Patriots Pro Bowlers: Why these seven players made the roster

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Chandler Jones

The main reason why Jones earned a Pro Bowl berth is his career year in the sacks department, where he has recorded 12.5 quarterback takedowns as well as four forced fumbles. The 12.5 sacks rank fourth in the league behind Khalil Mack (15.0), J.J. Watt (13.5) and Ezekiel Ansah (13.5), and the four forced fumbles are tied for the league lead with Collins and a handful of other elite defensive players.

Takeaways from win over Titans

Jones’ outstanding season has been characterized by four multiple-sack performances: a hat trick against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, 2.5 sacks in the Deflategate-weighted showdown with the Colts, and a pair of sacks each against the Miami Dolphins before Halloween and the Titans just last week.

In the first few seasons of this decade, the Patriots badly needed an elite pass rusher. Now that Jones has broken into star territory and made his first Pro Bowl, it’s safe to say that they found what they were looking for when they nabbed Jones in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Next: 2. Gostkowski, 1. Slater