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Cardinals Chandler Jones closing in on career year at halfway mark

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals have struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks this season, but without linebacker Chandler Jones, the issue suddenly would become more pronounced.

The 27-year-old Jones paced the Cardinals’ defense through the first eight games with nine sacks, the fourth-most in the NFL. His 14 tackles for a loss leads the league.

Jones has given left tackles and guards fits this season. The Rochester, NY native is the 13th best pass rusher when lined up on the left side with a score of 12.7  according to Pro Football Focus. Jones might usually fare better on the left side, but 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki believes “the Cardinals need to move him around on both sides on defense.”

In terms of quarterback pressures by move according to PFF, Jones has eight from the outside, five from the inside, two on the bull rush and two more when he is unblocked.

Jones is well on his way to exceeding his career best single season sack total of 12.5 in 2015 and needs only 18 more tackles to match his total from all of 2016.

It is clear that Jones has done his part. But the Cardinals have allowed signal callers to rack up 279.3 yards per game in the last three games, the fourth-highest total in the NFL. After leading the league in sacks (48) last season, the Arizona’s 18 sacks this year is tied for 10th in the NFC and 18th overall.

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