In 2016 the Arizona Cardinals and Steve Keim thought they found the missing piece in Chandler Jones for their Championship team.
Alas, the pieces around Jones faltered and the downward trend of the Arizona Cardinals began.
Yet, the one person who never disappointed was Chandler Jones.
Jones after coming over from the New England Patriots has only put up 60 sacks and 67 tackles for loss while making two Pro Bowls and being a First Team All Pro two times.
To say Jones has lived up to his end is an understatement.
That’s why it’s nice to see the recognition starting to come in as well.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com released his top five edge rushers in the NFL and guess who was number one?
Since entering the league as a first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2012, Jones leads the NFL in sacks (96) and forced fumbles (27). And he has actually cranked up his production since moving to the desert in 2016. In 64 games with the Arizona Cardinals, Jones has racked up 60 sacks and 17 forced fumbles. Last season alone, when Jones was the runner-up to Stephon Gilmore in Defensive Player of the Year voting, he logged 19 sacks and eight forced fumbles (seven strip-sacks). And here’s another thing: During Jones’ tenure in Arizona, the Cards haven’t exactly lit the world on fire as a team. Consequently, they’ve rarely been playing with a lead, thus limiting Jones’ opportunities to hunt quarterbacks without worrying about the run. So, yeah, Jones is the rare home-run hitter who can hit for average. When it comes to his playing style, Jones is a sneaky-explosive pass rusher with an array of hand-to-hand combat maneuvers that overwhelm blockers. He has the capacity to turn speed into power while also using a little finesse to win on inside or outside moves.
It’s a point that gets missed often, the Cardinals haven’t been good around Jones while he has been in Arizona, so his sack numbers are even more impressive when you consider he’s usually the only pass rush threat, it’s even more impressive.
Jones has a couple of prime years left as well, so where he ends up in his career in the All-time sack list will be something to watch.
He has a real shot in the next two seasons to find himself in the top 20 of sacks all time and from there it is about longevity to get into the top five. All of this is realistic based on what Jones has done in such a short time in his career.
The Arizona Cardinals and their fans are fortunate to be able to witness it.