Cardinals pass rusher Chandler Jones is back healthy in 2021, and he’s back with a vengeance, posting more sacks in one game than he did in all of 2020. The veteran played in only five games last season for Arizona and only posted 1 sack. He must have been … Jonesing … for more this season. He’s proving to be an ageless wonder for the Cardinals’ defense.
Chandler Jones ages gracefully
The 31-year-old pass rusher requested a trade in the offseason. This came amidst Jones’ contractual dispute with the club. Well, there may be no time like the present for a deal to get done if the Cardinals would consider it. Jones posted a franchise-tying 5 sacks in the Cardinals’ drubbing of the Tennessee Titans.
The last time we saw Jones for a full season, he posted a ridiculous 19 sacks for the Cardinals. Now, he’s a quarter of the way to that total, and he’s done it in the first game of the season.
But that’s not all. Jones also forced 2 fumbles, one of which narrowly missed being returned for a touchdown. Jones faced Titans OT Taylor Lewan for much of the contest, making the performance even more impressive.
Furthermore, Jones hit a huge milestone in the game. In 124 career games, Arizona’s pass rusher has amassed 102 sacks. His third sack was the 100th in his career, a mark that only 35 players in NFL history have met.
He also passed teammate J.J. Watt on the career sacks list. Watt currently has 101 sacks for his career. Additionally, Jones creeps closer to the only other active player with more sacks, Von Miller, who has 106 and appears healthy and ready for a resurgence in Denver.
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The Cardinals’ defense was impressive in 38-13 win
Jones finished the game with a franchise-tying 5 sacks, but the rest of the Arizona defense impressed. The Titans could only amass 248 total yards and 3.9 yards per play.
You did not read that wrong. Sure, Tennessee averaged 3.9 yards per rush, but that’s all Tannehill and two elite wide receivers could muster through the air. Recently, I wrote that Arizona needed cornerback help to contend in the NFC West. They certainly did everything in their power to prove me wrong, at least in Week 1.