New England Patriots rookie cornerback and return specialist Marcus Jones is the new AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. The third-round draft pick received the honor after scoring an 84-yard punt return touchdown in the final seconds of the Patriots’ 10-3 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
Jones, 24, arrived in New England after a prolific college career at Troy and Houston. While he had a quiet start to his rookie campaign, he has been electric since taking over as the team’s primary kick returner — ranking among the league leaders in both kickoff and punt return effectiveness.
On the year, Jones is ranked second in the NFL averaging 16.6 yards on his 17 punt returns. His return touchdown against the Jets was the first such score in the entire league so far this season.
Additionally, Jones is averaging 24.3 per kickoff return — also good enough for second in the NFL. His 623 all-purpose yards are 14th in an NFL-wide comparison, and he is the only defensive back to rank in the top-30 in this category.
Now, the youngster can also call himself the AFC’s top special teams performer of Week 11.
Jones is therefore now the third member of the 2022 Patriots to earn such an award. Nick Folk was named AFC Special Teams Player of Week 8 — coincidentally also against the Jets — while Matthew Judon earned a Defensive Player of the Week trophy following New England’s Week 5 win over the Detroit Lions.