While this appears to be an outlandish statement on the surface, the numbers and the production are all there to support the claim. Before one writes off the Patriots’ defense, one of the strongest assets of the Pats’ stout defense is the pass rush and the secondary.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Patriots have the highest graded CB in the NFL, Jonathan Jones. Jones has been a pillar in the defense for several years now. When he began for the Patriots, his role was primarily in the slot and running with the fastest and shiftiest guys throughout the league.
However, as moves began to transpire over the years an opportunity presented itself for Jones to take on the No.1 CB spot. Jones had the privilege to study under veteran CB and former DPOY Stephon Gilmore and Pro Bowler J.C. Jackson, it appears to be paying off. Jones is among the best-recognized corners in the game in man coverage throughout the four weeks of the season, per PFF.
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During the disappointing loss this past week against the Green Bay Packers, Jones didn’t have his best game. However, one of the rookie DBs had a game to remember. The rookie drafted in the fourth round from Arizona State is Jack Jones. He made quite the impression this past week against one of the greatest QBs to ever play this game.
With that being said, he played a phenomenal game and made a huge impression on not only Patriot fans but also Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick. Many believe he will find himself on the field more often to help create turnovers and make big plays on the defensive side of the ball.
Many found Jones’ energy refreshing and electric, however, some also found this swagger concerning. Patriots legend CB Ty Law expressed his thoughts on the rookie CB on WEEI.
"“I love the confidence if you can go out there and back it up. But from what I’ve seen, you don’t know situational football,” Law said Tuesday. “I don’t know what’s going on with that defense, but it’s pitch-and-catch. It’s third-and-short, they need a first down. It’s Aaron Rodgers over there, it’s third down, it’s five yards to go. Why are you seven, eight, nine yards off? That’s pitch-and-catch. You don’t need to run. That’s disrespectful by doing that to your defense — no one is playing and challenging the receivers.“You make a couple of plays, you get an interception, but to say something like that, you’ve got to have some swag, and go out there and make some plays. I don’t think anybody in that secondary, especially a rookie, can say something like that. You ain’t making enough plays to say something like that. Shut up.”"