Chandler Jones eyeing the NFL sack record
Can Jones surpass 22.5 sacks this season?
In an interview from August 6, Chandler Jones went straight to the point. He fully believes he is capable of breaking Michael Strahan‘s single-season sack record that has stood since 2001.
During the interview Jones asserted:
"“I feel like I’m getting closer and closer…I don’t feel older. I had a pretty decent year last year, and I feel even better with this time off, my body got some time to rest. Why not? Why can’t I break the record?” via Darren Urban at azcardinals.com"
The record has stood for a long time, but that doesn’t mean that elite edge rushers are not gunning for the title every season. Surpassing Strahan has become a benchmark for the pass rushers in this league and will remain so until it is broken.
Jones came incredibly close in 2019. He finished the year with 19 sacks despite going sackless in 4 games. Those are numbers any pass rusher would be happy with and they came with Jones being double-teamed or chipped on almost every play. With no other Cardinal logging more than 5.5 sacks, Jones’ work in 2019 is even more impressive as he was the only potent weapon the defense had to pressure the quarterback.
A confident Chandler Jones
Jones is not known for public declarations of confidence, but in the same August 6 interview he exuded high levels. He continued:
"“I don’t think that’s hard to get. And I feel like if there was a year to do it, this could be the year to do it, honestly, for me. That’s a personal goal of mine. But we have more help on our team. We have a better team.”"
Even addressing this newfound bravado openly, Jones stated:
"“Where I am right now in my career, I definitely feel I have mastered the art of pass rush. Half of the battle is just having confidence, knowing no one can block you. You can say it out loud or say it to yourself. Each and every week, I feel no one in the NFL can block me.” via azcardinals.com"
Chandler Jones addressed one major difference between the 2019 and 2020 Cardinals defense that might give some credibility to his new boasts. The front seven in Arizona looks drastically different than it did a year ago. The additions of Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard, and potentially the wildcard of Isaiah Simmons could all contribute to taking pressure off of Jones and allowing him to do what he does best, disrupting the quarterback.
After receiving Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, Jones also received the recognition that he and all Cardinals fans thought he deserved with his placement at No.15 in the NFL Top 100. If the NFL and the Arizona Cardinals get to play a full 16-game season, there is no reason to think that Chandler Jones couldn’t secure his place in the pantheon of defensive greats and have an illustrious 23-sack year.