KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones has cooled down after his hot start to the 2023 season.
After recording a sack in his first five games of the season after sitting out the season opener for a contract holdout, Jones hasn’t mustered a sack in the past three games.
With 5.5 sacks on the year, Jones has eight games left to reach the expectation of 10 sacks which would give him a $1.25 million bonus. Fifteen sacks would add $500K for a total bonus of $1.75 million added to his $19.5 million base salary.
He has reached 15 sacks twice in his career, in 2017 and last season.
Jones said there’s no frustration with his numbers since he received a penalty for pushing a player after the play against the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m [going to] hit my numbers,” Jones said on Thursday.
“Eight games left in the season. Whether I get a sack this game or not, we got seven more games left. Seven sacks in seven games? You do the math.”
In the next question, Jones expressed that he ignores the sack numbers as long as the defense is performing well.
“I don’t give a damn about numbers honestly,” he said. “Whatever I want is still ahead of me.”
The 29-year-old is tied for second on the team in sacks with defensive ends George Karlaftis (six sacks) and Mike Danna (5.5 sacks) leading the push for the team as well.
The Chiefs have one of the top-ranked defenses in the league who is second in the NFL with a 28% pressure rate and third in the league in sacks.
Jones is the nucleus of the powerful defense but the fact that he doesn’t have to be the dominant factor makes it all run smoothly.
“When I mention the other guys, they’re getting the benefit of him getting doubled or chipped, and they’re taking advantage of that,” head coach Andy Reid. “Chris will get his, he does so much for us, attitude-wise and play-wise.”
“When you think about it this is a selfless group. It’s not about names, it’s not about numbers either,” Jones said.
“I was listening to the broadcast talk about (Jets DL) Quinnen Williams and how special he is to the Jets defensive line, but he doesn’t have as many sacks as he did last year. The interesting point on that was he’s making everyone around him better. That’s the way I look at it, it’s not about stats to magnify how important these guys are. They are having a good year so far, but the importance to (what) they’ve been to the success of this defense, (goes) beyond the numbers.”
With the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles offense coming to town, the Chiefs will face their toughest test of the season. And the defense plans on getting better than they are right now.
“I still think we can get so much better,” Jones said. “So far so good – the best overall defense, it’s still halfway through the season, for me to say that now and we end up at dead last, it doesn’t even matter.
“We take it one game at a time, continue to get better, ask me this question at the end of the year and I’ll have an answer for you.”