PFF says Cardinals’ Chandler Jones poised to bounce back in 2021

Aug 21, 2021, 7:25 AM

After a slow start and eventual season-ending injury derailed the 2020 season for Arizona Cardinals edge linebacker Chandler Jones, Pro Football Focus considers the nine-year veteran to be a bounce-back candidate in 2021.

PFF named Jones as Arizona’s candidate for a strong rebound in the upcoming season, naming one player from every NFL team.

Jones recorded only a 62.6 overall player grade from PFF last season after excelling in 2019 with a 86.0. PFF cited a lack of defensive pressure in 2020 before he was injured in Arizona’s Week 5 game against the New York Jets.

What went wrong: Jones had an elite season as a pass-rusher in 2019, earning a career-high 90.0 pass-rush grade, which ranked inside the top five among NFL edge defenders. Instead of building on that success, Jones got off to a slow start in 2020 before suffering a season-ending biceps injury in Week 5. He generated just 10 pressures across 166 rushes prior to the injury, leading to a 63.1 pass-rush grade in that stretch.

Additional pressure from offensive lines against Jones played a major factor in the decline of production. Jones only recorded one sack in 2020, coming in the second quarter of Arizona’s opening game of the season against the San Francisco 49ers.

PFF believes the three-time Pro Bowler could excel once again in 2021 partly due to the arrival of five-time Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt, as long as Watt remains healthy.

Watt was tied for fifth among the highest volume edge defenders in the league last year with 40 solo tackles, according to PFF.

Jones is looking to make his mark in the final year of his five-year contract with the Cardinals. He reportedly asked for a trade on July 25, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Jones has not spoken about his contract situation or his reported trade request since the start of training camp.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Kyzir White celebrates with Jonathan Gannon in Week 3...

Tyler Drake

Kyzir White proving Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals right early into Arizona tenure

Kyzir White has been everything and more for a scrappy Cardinals defense led by head coach Jonathan Gannon and DC Nick Rallis.

10 hours ago

Marquise Brown #2 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a touchdown with teammate James Conner #6 dur...

Wills Rice

Gannon after 10 analysts pick Cowboys to beat Cardinals: ‘Good’

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon had a brief word for all 10 analysts that predicted the Cowboys to beat the Cardinals in Week 3.

11 hours ago

Drew Petzing looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals OC Drew Petzing’s creativity on display in win over Cowboys

Throughout the Cardinals' first win under the new regime, OC Drew Petzing showed off his creativity from a play-calling standpoint.

12 hours ago

Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs (Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Sports

Rapid reactions: Cardinals use 1st-half dominance to upset Cowboys in Week 3

After a rough two opening weeks for the Arizona Cardinals, the team did the improbable and upset the undefeated Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.

12 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs #9 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the third quarter in the game against...

Dan Bickley

Cardinals’ upset win over Cowboys especially sweet for the polarizing Gannon

Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys was especially sweet. It was Arizona’s seventh victory over the Cowboys in its past eight tries.

13 hours ago

Dallas Cowboys fans at the Arizona Cardinals game...

Haboob Blog

Skip Bayless posts awkward video, memes are out as the Cardinals upset the Cowboys

Skip Bayless breathed heavily and nodded his head. But fans outside of Dallas enjoyed the Arizona Cardinals' upset of the Cowboys.

13 hours ago

PFF says Cardinals’ Chandler Jones poised to bounce back in 2021