Patriots: Chandler Jones can have an impact
The ability of the New England pass rush to get to Colt’s quarterback Andrew Luck will be a key factor in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots were able to harass Andrew Luck in their Week 11 contest, despite only sacking him once –generating a further eight QB hits, 14 hurries, and a batted pass. All that without their most effective pass rusher, former first-round pick Chandler Jones.
Jones only played in 10 regular season games in 2014 due to injury. He accumulated seven sacks, six QB knockdowns, 19 hurries and a pair of batted passes, giving him a 9.4 Pass Rushing Productivity score. Despite missing time and being shut out in the first and last games of the year, he still achieved the highest pass rushing grade of any New England defender (+10.5). He was also the Patriots chief source of pressure on Joe Flacco in last week’s Divisional Round contest, generating 10 total pressures (three hits, seven hurries) while only one other Patriot had more than three pressures.
Although Jones can line up anywhere on the defense, he primarily operates on the right edge, rushing from that side 84.8% of the time, which will pit him against the Colts’ stud left tackle Anthony Costanzo. Costanzo had the sixth best pass blocking grade (+14.4) among tackles this season and only conceded two sacks. Making Jones against Costanzo a matchup to watch.