5 Reasons Why The Mayor of Sack Nation Should Be DPOY
Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones has always been a defensive force for the Chiefs front seven. He was even recognized as one of the best defensive players in the league in 2018 after a stellar 15.5 sack season.
Jones has been voted to 4 Pro Bowls since 2019, 3× Second-team All-Pro selections and was a key contributor in Super Bowl LIV. His largest impact comes not in stats, but in opening up opportunites for Frank Clark and the other Chiefs defenders make plays and to win as a team.
Coming into the 2022 season, many wondered if it would be Jones’ last year with the Chiefs. After this season, he has only one year left on his contract and the Chiefs could save $20M by trading or releasing him. Some are still upset about his performance against the Bengals in the AFC Championship from earlier 2022. If Jones was really having a down year, that decision might be an easy one for Chiefs general manager Brett Veach. However, that is not the case. Jones is having one of his best seasons since his 15.5 sack season in 2018. He currently has 36 tackles and is tied 7th in the NFL with 12 sacks.
In other words, The Mayor of Sack Nation is back to his old self and Sack Nation itself is back. On top of that, his 12 sacks are the most in the NFL by an interior lineman. I believe his dominance and success makes him a deserving candidate to be rewarded by being named the 2022 Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Here are 5 reasons why the Chiefs star should win the Defensive Player of the Year award.
He Can Lineup in Multiple Positions on the Line
The thing that makes the Chiefs defensive line so hard to beat is their versatility. That versatility starts with Jones.
Stone Cold Jones is such a skilled player that he is able to switch from lining up in the A or B Gap against a center, right guard or left guard in the trenches to lining up on an offensive tackle with speed on the outside.
The fact that Jones can switch to anyone on the line of scrimmage is a rare talent that not many other NFL defensive linemen possess.
The Addition of Joe Cullen
Another factor in Jones’ and the Chiefs D-line successful 2022 season has been the addition of new defensive line coach Joe Cullen.
Before helping the Chiefs get 45 sacks which rank fourth in the league, Cullen spent five seasons as the defensive line coach in Baltimore (2016-20). It’s not a coincidence that the run defense is this dominant this season all due to Cullen’s coaching style and philosophy. From 2016 to 2020, Baltimore boasted the league’s top-ranked defense (314.1 ypg).
While some have argued that the Chiefs has had to rely on blitzes to get pressure, 32.5 of these sacks have come from the defensive line. That number alone is more sacks than the entire 2021 defense had last season when it ranked 29th in that category last season.
Top-15 Ranked NFL Defense (Better than last season)
The Chiefs defensive unit is one of the NFL’s best in sacks with 45, 4th in the league.
Last season, The Chiefs gave up 368.9 yards per game which ranked 27th in the NFL in 2021. In 2022, Chiefs only gave up an average of 332.9 yards per game which is 15th in the NFL in total defense. Because of Chris Jones’ presence and the addition of Cullen, the run defense has had it’s best season since 2015. The Chiefs rank 8th in the NFL with allowing the fewest rushing yards (107.1) and the 8th fewest rushing first downs in the NFL.
It might not sound like much, but our defense has MASSIVELY improved.
Chris Jones Is the Heart of KC’s Defense
Chris Jones is to the Kansas City Chiefs what Aaron Donald is to the Los Angeles Rams.
Jones is the best defensive tackle in the NFL. Without Jones, how will the Defensive line manage?
The Defensive Player of the Year is the best defender on one of the best defensive teams in the league. Yes, the Chiefs are one of the best defensive teams in the league. Speaking of Aaron Donald, he’s no doubt one of the greatest defensive players of all-time. However, according to PFF’s Mike Renner, He recently said that: “Aaron Donald’s reign as the best defensive tackle in the league is over.” “Chris Jones has taken that over.” That speaks volumes there. Aaron Donald is also a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year.
His past mistakes have matured him for the better and that should scare teams
Free agent defensive tackle Mike Daniels said this about Chris Jones in the NFL Top 100, “Chris is a bully but not the kind that’s mean, but he’ll take your lunch money but make sure you have just enough to eat.”
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Jones is in 3rd place behind Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons (13 sacks) and 49ers’ pass-rusher Nick Bosa (17.5). Yes we get sack numbers probably wins you the award but the award should go to the best defender overall, not just from the individual stat perspective but what has that player done for his team.
Overall, Chris Jones has the individual stats and impact, but it also translates to a dominant team defense. He deserves to be DPOY because of his incredible impact in a variety of ways. Voters can see the flashy stats they love in Bosa and Parsons (especially Parsons with his speed and athletic freak nature). They can also witness the team success they crave. Will Jones actually win the award?Perception sometimes trumps reality, and it may sway the DPOY choice.
If he wins or not, Chris Jones deserves the DPOY award.