NFL.com recently published an article declaring the most important player for every team in the league. For the Patriots, writer Adam Schein decided to take a creative route by bypassing the obvious choice (Tom Brady) and going with the player who's performance could be the make or break for this year's team. Chandler Jones was the pick. Schein writes:
"Tom Brady will be Tom Brady, even without four of his top five pass catchers from last season. But New England must be a well-rounded to make a playoff run. Jones started his rookie season flying -- quickly becoming a true candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year -- but injuries limited him to six sacks in 13 starts. The Pats need him to be the monster he is capable of being."Hard to argue with the facts. Jones came into a struggling Patriots defense and lived up to his athletic prowess. As pointed out though, the young star's great start was derailed as quickly as it started. Suffering from injury, he struggled throughout the rest of the season, posting solid time and stats but not playing nearly as well as the beginning of the season.
With the defense being the Patriots clear achilles heel, Chandler Jones could certainly be the final push that this team needs. The defense definitely improved last year compared to the years before, but still needs to make the next step. Look at the two teams in the Super Bowl last year; the Ravens and 49ers had two of the top defenses in the league! The Patriots need Jones to step up and be the defensive threat that he was at the beginning of last season.
Do you think Chandler Jones is the key? Tweet @PatriotsLife with your opinion!