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Dominant December lands Chandler Jones as NFC Defensive Player of the Month

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals did not have a great season on defense, no one would argue that.

However, Chandler Jones had one of the best seasons in Arizona Cardinals history. Not just one of the best seasons, but his December was a historic one that was capped with an NFC Defensive Player of the Month award.

From the team:

This is Jones’ second selection as “NFC Defensive Player of the Month” with the Cardinals after previously winning the award in December of 2017. He was also named “AFC Defensive Player of the Month” in November of 2013 with the Patriots.

Jones is the second Cardinals “Player of the Month” this season after kicker Zane Gonzalez was named the “NFC Special Teams Player of the Month” for October. It is the first time the Cardinals have had two different players be named “Player of the Month” in the same season since the award began in 1986.

Jones totaled an NFL-high 6.0 sacks, 18 tackles, three forced fumbles, four tackles for loss and nine quarterback hits over the final four weeks of the 2019 season. His three games with at least one sack tied for the NFL lead in Weeks 14-17.

In Week 16 at Seattle, Jones was named NFC “Defensive Player of the Week” after tying his career-high with 4.0 sacks to go along with six tackles, two tackles for loss, a career-high six quarterback hits and two forced fumbles in the win over the Seahawks. It marked the second time this season Jones posted 4.0 sacks in a game (Week 7 at NY Giants). He became just the third player in NFL history with 4.0+ sacks in multiple games in a single season, joining Reggie White (2 in 1986) and Karl Mecklenburg (2 in 1985).

In the win over Seattle, Jones reached 19.0 sacks for the season, setting a new career high and franchise single-season record. His 60.0 sacks with the Cardinals moved him into second place on the franchise all-time sacks list. Jones finished the 2019 season second in the NFL with 19.0 sacks, tied for the NFL lead with eight forced fumbles and as the league leader with seven strip-sacks.

Jones becomes the first Cardinals “Defensive Player of the Month” since he won the award in December of 2017.

Besides Jones, the Cardinals have had a Player of the Month 11 other times since the award began: Neil Lomax (Offensive-October, 1988), Boomer Esiason (Offensive-November, 1996), Kwamie Lassiter (Defensive-November, 2001), Neil Rackers (Special Teams-October & December, 2005), Patrick Peterson (Special Teams-November, 2011), Justin Bethel (Special Teams-December, 2014), Tyrann Mathieu (Defensive-November, 2015), David Johnson (Offensive-October, 2016), Jones (Defensive-December, 2017) and Gonzalez (Special Teams, October, 2019).

In addition, the Cardinals had an NFC “Player of the Week four times in 2019. Jones was selected twice as “Defensive Player of the Week” (Week 16 at Seattle & Week 7 at New York Giants), cornerback Patrick Peterson was named “Defensive Player of the Week) after Arizona’s Week 15 win vs. Cleveland and quarterback Kyler Murray was named “Offensive Player of the Week” following the Cardinals victory vs. Atlanta in Week 6.