BOSTON (CBS) – There are some high hopes for the New England Patriots as they get set to open the 2013 season on Sunday in Buffalo.
Most have the Patirots as a lock to win the AFC East and make a deep run in the playoffs, and aren’t too concerned about the new-look offense. But what about the New England defense? Some think they could finish as a Top 10 defense in the NFL, and if they do, Boston.com’s Zuri Berry says defensive end Chandler Jones will be a big part of it.
“First of all I think it will come down to health obviously, specifically Chandler Jones. When he nicked up both ankles last year it really slowed down their pass-rush. Rob Ninkovich was the only other guy bring that QB pressure, so with Chandler Jones healthy I think he’s going to have a phenomenal year,” Berry told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show on Thursday night.
“Twenty-five percent of the snaps he played in the preseason he had QB pressure on, and that’s pretty fantastic,” Berry said of Jones, who recorded six sacks in 14 games as a rookie. “It has to be that pass-rush; it’s such a huge element of this game. If Chandler Jones can be that guy, they’re going to be good to go.”
Berri also touches on the Patriots’ off-season moves, and where they should stand when the playoffs begin.