Two Sundays ago, Chris Jones had a career game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11.
Jones amassed 3.5 sacks, a career-best for him and the most by a Kansas City Chiefs defender in a game since 2016. Moreover, he also had five combined tackles, two tackles-for-a-loss, and eight pressures. His performance shot him up the stat leaders column, making him tied for 21st in sacks on the year.
At the time, NFL Network host Rich Eisen has stated that he’s a new Defensive Player of the Year candidate:
With how Jones has performed lately, does he have a shot at winning the DPOY? Or, is it too little too late for him to do so? Let’s find out now.
Jones has been on an absolute tear in this Chiefs’ four-game win streak. Chris Jones has totaled nine total tackles, 4.5 sacks, 6 hurries, 15 pressures, and 4 QB knockdowns in that span. He’s been able to get past your average NFL starters to multiple All-Pro linemen like Zach Martin. He also just had one of his highest-rated games per PFF:
Should Jones have been given a higher grade? Yes, of course; but, this score did boost his overall score to 82.0. That’s pretty good and shows that Jones has been one of the top interior linemen this season. His performances thus far have given him a backseat in the competition, but who’ll he be fighting against at this moment?
The Rest Of The Pack
Jones’s chances start to dwindle when looking at the DPOY race this season and the players in it. Let’s begin with Myles Garrett, who has been an absolute terror to offensive lines and quarterbacks alike. Garrett leads the league in sacks at 14, 42 combines tackles, 15 tackles-for-a-loss, 14 hurries, and 43 pressures. He is the frontrunner for this award at the moment.
Others in the DPOY race are Trevon Diggs, who leads the league in interceptions (eight), T.J Watt, who is 2nd in the league in sacks (12.5), Matthew Judon, who is 3rd in the league in sacks (11), and Aaron Donald, who has been destroying offensive lines single-handedly this season. Jones would have to catch up to either of them to be able to have a decent shot at winning the award. So, what does the rest of the season hold for Jones?
Rest Of The Season
With six games left in the season, it’ll be a challenge for Chris Jones to make his case as the DPOY. Here’s who’ll Jones be facing in the next six weeks:
- Week 13: Vs. Denver Broncos
- Week 14: Vs. Las Vegas Raiders
- Week 15: @ L.A Chargers
- Week 16: Vs. Pittsburg Steelers
- Week 17: @ Cincinnati Bengals
- Week 18: @ Denver Broncos
- Broncos: 60% (15th)
- Raiders: 56% (22nd)
- Chargers: 58% (18th)
- Steelers: 51% (29th)
- Bengals: 49% (31st)
By looking at the stats here, Jones has a great shot to bolster his sack and pressure numbers in these next six games. His toughest matchups will be against the Broncos, who are only in the middle of the pack. The Chargers’ tackles have been great this year, especially with Rashawn Slater. However, their interior offensive line has been lackluster this year.
The Chiefs’ matchup against the Raiders will be some trouble as well as Jones had two pressures that game, a low from the Chiefs’ four-game win streak. The Steelers and Bengals exist, so we can probably see his bigger games in those matchups.
In closing, Chris Jones does have a shot at winning the DPOY award, but, at this very moment, the chances are thin. With the amount of time he has and the dominance of others like Myles Garrett and Matthew Judon, it’ll be tough for him to break into the very top. Unless he can break out and have monster games, like in Week 11, in at least three out of the six weeks, he won’t have a great shot to win the award.
Do you think Chris Jones has a shot at winning the DPOY award this season? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day!