Jones provides spark to Pats defense

Jones provides spark to Pats defense
November 27, 2013, 7:46 pm
Share This Post

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) tries to elude New England Patriots defensive ends Chandler Jones (95) and Rob Ninkovich (50) in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

(APWF)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) New England's Chandler Jones on Wednesday was selected the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November.

While the Patriots defensive end was thrilled with the honor, he wishes the award could have been shared among more players.

Ten more, to be exact.

''If it was up to me, I would like to be AFC Defense of the Month, because I couldn't do it without those guys, the 10 guys out there on the field with me, like our secondary, our linebackers,'' Jones said.

''They do a great job of freeing me up, holding guys up. I'm getting a lot of coverage sacks. So, I'm enjoying it.

''It's a great accolade and congrats to our defense.''

Jones had four sacks and 16 total tackles in helping the Patriots go 2-1 in November. The second-year player has 10 1/2 sacks on the season, fifth-most in the league, and his two-year total of 16 1/2 ranks third in team history for the most in a player's first two seasons in the league. Only Garin Veris (21) and Chris Slade (18 1/2) had more.

Coach Bill Belichick said Jones has improved since his rookie season, when he missed two games in November due to an ankle injury, but still finished with 45 tackles and three forced fumbles.

''I think Chandler has played much more consistently this year than last year. Although I thought he did a lot of good things last year, too, but his game has come up and we've asked him to do more,'' Belichick said. ''He's taken on more responsibilities, played in different positions, but I think he's having a solid season.''

Jones' added duties stem from losses that have hurt New England's defense, including season-ending injuries to veteran defensive linemen Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.

Jones has risen to the occasion in their absence, too, providing stability and leadership to a defensive line that features a pair of starting rookies, along with veteran defensive end Rob Ninkovich.

''I think he's done a good job of trying to step up, be more vocal,'' Belichick said.

''Without Vince in there, the communication has certainly fallen more on Rob (Ninkovich) and Chandler. But again, communication is an 11-man job, it's not just a one-man job.

''But they're a key part of it because of their experience and their overall playing skill. I think Chandler is certainly more capable and ready to do it than he was last year and we've needed him to do it.''

On Sunday, Jones will get a chance to watch another of the game's young, talented pass-rushers when the Patriots (8-3) play the Houston Texans (2-9).

Defensive end J.J. Watt led the league last season with 20 1/2 sacks and also deflected 16 passes, the most among any linemen in the league. Despite a drop-off in production this season with 9 1/2 sacks and four deflections, Watt still has managed to impress his counterpart.

''He's a great player,'' Jones said. ''He has great moves inside and outside and he's fun to watch.''

But while he clearly has progressed from his rookie season, Jones credited the entire defense for improving in the wake of adversity.

''Not just me, but I feel like our defense made a lot of progress, as far as being consistent,'' he said. ''A lot has to do with just the game plan and buying into what the coaches are saying and executing.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Texans - Team News
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham caught two passes for 24 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers. Graham was targeted three times, but dropped the other. It can be considered one of Graham's better statistical games of the season, which obviously means he's nowhere near...
Oct 20 11:31PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught five passes for 77 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins each saw a team-high nine targets. There was nothing special about Johnson's night. His biggest play was a 24-yard grab on a deep in route in...
Oct 20 11:25PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 108 yards in the Texans' Week 7 loss to the Steelers on... Hopkins and Andre Johnson each saw a team-high nine targets. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw it to whichever receiver was working against embattled Steelers CB Cortez Allen. ...
Oct 20 11:16PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 14 yards on five carries and caught an 11-yard touchdown in the Texans'... Blue was the vulture on the opening-drive 11-yard score after Arian Foster managed 59 rushing yards to get the Texans near the goal line. Foster is an every-down back,...
Oct 20 11:09PM Read More
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-32 passes for 262 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception... Fitzpatrick played well for much of the first half, leading the Texans on three consecutive scoring drives to open the game. It was a train wreck thereafter. One play...
Oct 20 10:56PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-23, Week 7 loss to the... Foster got off to a blazing start, rushing for 59 yards on the Texans' 94-yard opening touchdown drive, but was vultured by Alfred Blue for the 11-yard touchdown catch to...
Oct 20 10:47PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is inactive for Monday night's Week 7 game against the Steelers. Clowney's lateral agility wasn't where the Texans wanted it to be in pre-game warmups. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery after Week 1. Whitney Mercilus is...
Oct 20 6:09PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins (hand) is probable for Week 7. The Texans listed Hopkins on the injury report, but his status was never in doubt. He'll be a WR3 for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 18 2:54PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Monday night's game against the Steelers. Foster was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full the last two days. He should have another heavy workload against a Steelers defense that's allowing 4.4 yards per carry...
Oct 18 2:48PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) was upgraded to full in Saturday's practice and is listed as probable for... Johnson is good to go for Monday night's matchup with the Steelers. He's Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 18 2:39PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is listed as questionable for Monday night's game against... Clowney got in two limited practices this week, but said he still "can't run laterally." He could be held out in an attempt to get fully healthy for Week 8. If...
Oct 18 2:20PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) returned to practice Friday. It was Clowney's first practice since undergoing knee surgery in Week 1. He's expected to be a game-time decision for Monday night. Clowney will likely be on a limited snap...
Oct 17 6:08PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (groin) was upgraded to full in Friday's practice. Foster suffered a groin injury in last Thursday's loss to the Colts, but his Week 7 status isn't in doubt. He should be fine for Monday night against the Steelers.
Oct 17 6:02PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) remained limited in Friday's practice. The Texans are limiting Johnson's practice reps, but he's expected to play on Monday night. Johnson is Rotoworld's No. 15 receiver this week.
Oct 17 5:53PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins is listed on the Week 7 injury report with a hand issue, but is practicing in... Hopkins must have tweaked something in last week's loss to the Colts. It won't affect his WR3 status for Week 7.
Oct 16 4:22PM Read More