Pats Vs. Titans

Instant Replay.

Jones Strip-Sack.


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Jones gets a long step right off the snap to get into Lewan Quickly. Then he ducks his head and helmet butts into him with a great power move. "I beat the guy with a bull rush," Jones said. "He was a little bit light and I beat him with a bull rush. I actually didn't see the quarterback. I was just reaching and happened to tip the ball. It was a great play for us and we capitalized off it." The he clubs the outside shoulder of Lewan, and Lewan blocks him by his facemask. But he still is able to fight his way around to Mariota's back, and slaps at the ball as he pulls his arm back. "It was a great play for our team," Jones said. "It helped contribute to the win, so any time you can contribute, that's good. It was a bit of déjà vu because my first game [in 2012 Vs the Titans], I had a sack-fumble and Hightower picked it up for a touchdown. And in this game, I had a sack-fumble and Akiem picked it up for a touchdown, so it was a bit of déjà vu and it was coincidental that it happened to be against the Titans." He pinned the ball on Mariota's hand for a split second. Then the ball burst straight backwards, as Mariota finally freed his arm to go forward. Lewan tackles Jones as he tries to dive on the bouncing ball. Hicks catches the ball all alone. He scoops it up and heads to the endzone.

But Mariota attacks from behind, and punches the ball out of Hicks hands. "I lost one in Denver and [coach Patricia] gave me a talking to about losing those and just diving for them," Hicks said. "Chandler had that great play and I was just trying to finish it for us. You're watching that ball spin around and you're a bigger guy like, ‘OK, I've got to make sure I'm with it.' And then you jump on it and grab it. You never know where the ball is going to spin too, but that's just a testament to our defense and how we've been trying to bring pressure all year. This has gone by quick for me. I came here Week 3 and I'm just happy to be here with these guys and I love my teammates." But he was able to gather back in, and fall into the endzone. Where the ball popped out again.

But he grabbed it back into his belly. "Just like with anything, the more reps you get at it, the better you get acclimated and you start to learn more," Hicks said. "It starts to work better for you." So he gathered in the ball in the Endzone for a huge touchdown.

There is nothing big D-linemen like better than one of them scores a touchdown. "We were dying laughing," Branch said. "The funny thing is when a big guy gets a touchdown, no matter what, it's going to be funny because it doesn't look normal and it isn't regular. It doesn't happen on a regular basis. The big fella got in there and he had to double-catch it for a touchdown, but we got the seven points and I was proud of the big fella." It was a great improbably touchdown.

If they continue to rush like this they win it all. "[Mr. Jones] is a great outside rusher," Hicks said. "Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard. Even the interior guys are bringing pressure. You've got Brown, Branch, Sealver as a unit. And then those things don't happen unless you have a great secondary. Logan [was] covering all day. Malcolm Butler covering all day. Jamie [and] Hightower [covering all day]. It's a great team and I'm honored to be here." They picked up two more Sacks than Denver this week. They are now tied with the great Denver defense, which was the best defense in the first half of the season, with 47-Sacks on the season.

That is an incredible accomplishment for this defense. "I think the way you characterized it is very accurate," BB said. "When we signed Jabaal, we kind of thought that it would be kind of put us in a three-for-two position at defensive end. Rob and Chandler, when they, well two years ago they played almost every snap. They were both in the high 90-percent range. Then Chandler missed a few games last year and then came back and again played almost every snap once he came back and was a big factor for us. It's just hard to count on guys at that position to be as durable overall as Rob and Chandler had been, particularly this year and two years ago. So, kind of having that three-for-two with those players, we felt like would give us good depth on defense. We also drafted some younger players at that position, too, but these three guys have all been really good. We've played Chandler inside some in the past and we've done that some this year, but Jabaal has played in there more. That's something that in Cleveland, he played primarily on the left side. He did play on both sides. He was at right end too, but primarily on the end of the line. You rarely if ever saw him inside and this year when we put him in there early in the season in training camp he had some very productive plays, and so we've been able to get all three guys on the field at times and then there have been other times where we've kind of been in kind of a three-for-two rotation, and all three players have been very productive. They've all been great. Jabaal in particular has had to do some things he hasn't done before in terms of playing inside and some pass coverage responsibilities, but he's done very well in picking that up and has given us a lot of production. I think Chandler and Rob not having to be out there every single snap has also benefited them and they've been very productive, too, so that's been a really good situation for us. We probably hoped it would go that way but couldn't envision that it would have gone any better than it has." But the interior guys are helping the edgerushers, just like the edgerushers are helping the interior guys.

The D-Ends are just killing it. "I think in any situation we're trying to have as many guys on the field that can perform at a high level as we can and certainly we've been able to do a good job of rotating with those guys in there," Patricia said. "We've had some other guys that have played those types of positions, too, this year for us. I think Chandler, Rob, and Jabaal are doing a great job of trying to understand what we're doing. Jabaal obviously came in and is trying to learn our system and get used to the way that we use our players in those positions. I think Coach Belichick hit all of it. Chandler and Rob play a lot of snaps for us and certainly when you can get a rotation at any position and hopefully help out those players over the course of the game, course of the season, then that's an ideal situation to have. [That's] just basically what we've tried to do there. Those guys have all been able to move around and play different positions and fill in spots for us that week-in, week-out we're asking them to do. I would say just in general that's a group that works really hard. Those three guys are really good players on game day but also during the week, practicing, and preparing, and getting ready for the meetings, and stuff like that. Certainly credit to what they do." But it isn’t just them. Hick and Brown, and Branch and Grissom all made plays in this game.

One of the reason Hicks and the other DTs have been so successful inside is because the edge guys have been so dominate outside (and inside if you watched Sheard at all). That makes it very difficult to double one of the inside guys. Jones has 12.5 Sacks. Sheard and Ninkovich have combined for 13.5 sacks. Plus, despite missing a bevy of games, Collins and Hightower have combined for 9 sacks as well. So when you have two inside guys who have 3 sacks each, Brown and Hicks, those six Sacks are huge (Easley has 2 Sacks, but is on injured reserve for the season). Pats-14. Titans-Zip. Sacks-2.

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