I always hate when I have to hand out a "game ball" to any player following a loss. Game balls are never actually awarded to a player on a losing team. However, in an effort to upkeep the blog's continuity week-to-week, we'll still hand one out... even after a loss.
That being said, there weren't too many big-time performers in yesterday's game against the Cardinals. There were struggles all around on offense - at quarterback, along the offensive line, at wide receiver. On defense, there were a handful of players who played really well, as the unit as a whole had a good game.
However, it wasn't hard to pick out the defender who stood out the most in Sunday's game: defensive end Chandler Jones. While Brandon Spikes deserved some consideration for his performance, Chandler Jones was the clear MVP on defense Sunday. Jones consistently created pressure, drew a hold, stuffed runs, and even forced a fumble. While he didn't pick up any sacks, his presence was felt throughout the game, as Kevin Kolb was constantly having to take off on his feet to create time to throw. On one first half defensive possession, Jones made four consecutive successful defensive plays.
Through two games, Jones has ten tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. Without a doubt, he's been the Patriots most prolific pass rusher. It's still early, but if Jones can keep up this progression, he has a chance to be something really special.
Previous "Game Ball" Winners: