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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chandler Jones Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Coming off their 30-7 win over Minnesota on Sunday, this afternoon Patriots (1-1) defensive end Chandler Jones was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. His signature play-the blocked field goal and 58-yard return for a score-didn't even count towards this most coveted award but he still had the resume with six solo tackles, two assists, two sacks and one run stuff.

It was fitting that Jones picked up the first honor of the 2014 regular season for the Pats since other than cornerback Darrelle Revis, Jones is arguably their most important player on defense. It's too simplistic to say that New England lost to Miami (33-20) because Jones didn't play well (4 solo tackles) but you have to note that moving him from inside (in a 3-4) to his more natural position on the outside as a pass rusher allowed him to succeed.

Still only 24 years old in his third pro season, Jones had six sacks his rookie season and 11.5 last season; he also has four forced fumbles and one recovered fumble in his brief career. I don't think he's a Hall of Famer by any means but he has the ability to be a Pro Bowler that gets double digit sacks every season and those guys don't grow on trees, particularly if the defense is anything close to what it was against the overmatched Vikings.

The offense hasn't looked good for the most part through the first two games but this is definitely the week for Tom Brady and Co. to wake up: vs. Oakland (0-2) at Gillette Stadium in their 2014 home opener. If the Pats struggle at all vs. the Raiders, you'll know that something is seriously wrong with their offense. It's nearly impossible to predict NFL games but Vegas clearly knows something as they've installed the Pats as a 15-point favorite (highest in the league).

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