Markus Golden has a saying for pass rushing — “We’re just huntin'” he’ll say — and now, Chandler Jones has started using the term.
“It rubbed off on me,” Jones said.
Certainly Jones, after hitting sack dry spell after a five-sack day in Week 1, seems to have found his hunting ways again after a bout with Covid. He went to one of his favorite places, Seattle, last weekend and sacked Russell Wilson twice, forced a fumble, and had a big tackle-for-loss on a run play to lead the Cards’ defense in a 23-13 win over the Seahawks.
That’s why he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for a second time this season, following a Week 1 award.
“He is hitting his stride,” defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. “He had a couple weeks where he won (against a blocker) quickly and the ball was coming out fairly fast, but Sunday, with the third downs (being longer), he had time to win.”
Jones dominates in Seattle. He now has 12½ sacks in his career, good enough for the 10th-most sacks at Lumen Stadium all-time — even though Jones has never played for the Seahawks, having only played seven times there.
The strip-sack came early in the first quarter — the Seahawks kept the ball — but it short-circuited a drive and brought more attention on Jones.
I feel like when you have success early in the game like that, as a pass rusher — as an experienced pass rusher — you have to change your game, which I did,” Jones said.
It is the fifth time a Cardinal has won a Player of the Week award this season. Quarterback Kyler Murray won for Week 2, cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. won for Week 3 and kicker Matt Prater won for Week 6.
Jones has won a DPOW award five times since coming to the Cardinals, the most in franchise history. Previously he had been tied at four with former safety Adrian Wilson.