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Cardinals DE Chandler Jones has hit another wall in 2nd half of year

The former Patriot hasn’t been able to sustain his early season success.

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The New England Patriots looked like they had finally lost a trade when Arizona Cardinals edge defender Chandler Jones erupted at the start of the season. Jones was on pace for an All Pro performance, racking up 34 sacks, hits, and pressures over the first nine games of the season, one of the best marks in the entire NFL.

In the meantime, the Patriots pass rush didn’t exist all year and Jones’ replacement, Jabaal Sheard, was benched for poor execution.

Well, Jones he has since been nonexistent for the Cardinals, picking up just “eight pressures over his last four games,” according to Pro Football Focus. He averaged 4 disruptions per game over the first half of the season. Since then, he’s averaged just 2 disruptions, including a whopping zero against the Atlanta Falcons.

Patriots fans are familiar with this second half disappearance by Jones. Over his career, Jones has averaged 0.86 sacks, 0.90 tackles for loss, and 1.51 quarterback hits per game over the first nine weeks of the season. For the remainder of the year, Jones have averaged just 0.39 sacks, 0.59 tackles for loss, and 0.78 quarterback hits per game.

There are two ways to evaluate the Jones trade for the Patriots. You could look at the literal result of the trade, where the Patriots traded down from the Cardinals 2nd round pick to draft OG Joe Thuney and WR Malcolm Mitchell- the latter of whom has emerged as a key offensive player for the Patriots over the same stretch where Jones had faded- and say that the Patriots definitely won the trade.

Or you could look at the Patriots 2nd round pick of CB Cyrus Jones and determine that the Patriots would have been better off keeping Chandler Jones.

Either way, it seems like Jones’ second half swoon is right on schedule.