Entering Week 1, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones was a +4000 longer shot at Caesars Sportsbook to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in his career. After one of the most dominant defensive efforts in league history in a win over the Titans, Jones is now +1000 fourth-favorite on that prop. SportsLine also offers odds on whether he will break the NFL single-season sacks record of 22.5.
Jones had a career-high five sacks and two forced fumbles in Arizona's very impressive 38-13 win in Nashville. Since sacks became an official individual statistic in 1982, he was the third player to have at least five sacks in a Week 1 game, joining Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (six in 1998) and William Gay (5.5 in 1983). The five sacks also tied Haason Reddick for the most sacks in a single-game for the Cardinals.
In addition, Jones became the fourth player ever with three games of at least four sacks – he had two four-sack games in 2019 – alongside Thomas (four), Leslie O'Neal (four) and Reggie White (three). No other than LeBron James tweeted his admiration for Jones during Sunday's game. Shoot, even the guy Jones was beating much of the day, Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, tweeted to thank Jones for helping him get better despite being embarrassed.
Jones had just one sack last season before suffering a season-ending biceps injury in Week 5. The single-season NFL record for sacks was by former New York Giants end Michael Strahan with 22.5 in 2001, although Pro Football Reference charted that former Detroit Lions Pro Bowler Al "Bubba" Baker actually hit 23 sacks during his 1978 Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. That's nice and all, but the 22.5 is the official number.
The career high in sacks for the 31-year-old Jones was 19 in 2019 when he finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting behind Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Of course, there are now 17 regular-season games instead of 16 so that slightly boosts' Jones cause. The 2020 sacks leader with "only" 15 was Pittsburgh's TJ Watt. He's +800 for Defensive Player of the Year, behind Rams three-time winner Aaron Donald and Cleveland's Myles Garrett (+600).
To no surprise, Jones was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week the fifth time in his career he has won a POW award (four in NFC with Arizona, one in AFC with New England).
Jones and the Cardinals host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and opened as 4.5-point favorites. Vikes QB Kirk Cousins was sacked three times in a Week 1 loss in Cincinnati. Jones, with 66 sacks as a Cardinal, needs just one to surpass Freddie Joe Nunn (66.5) as the franchise's all-time leader.
Via SportsLine oddsmakers: Will Chandler Jones break the NFL single-season record of 22.5 sacks?
- No -4500
- Yes +1200
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