The clock is ticking for Chandler Jones to make some plays for the Las Vegas Raiders. Though head coach Josh McDaniels recently praised Jones for doing a lot of things that don’t stand out on the stat sheet, that excuse won’t carry water for long. The team isn’t paying the pass rusher $51 million to not get sacks.
Through four games, he has yet to register a single sack. To make things worse, he only has eight quarterback pressure, per Pro Football Focus. Outside of Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the team has not played against many good offensive lines. Jones and Maxx Crosby should be one of the most prolific duos in the NFL right now.
There’s still time for Jones to turn things around but Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report has already hit him with the label of being the most disappointing player on the Raiders this season:
Jones has been nearly nonexistent while lining up across from Maxx Crosby.
The counting stats are bad. He has eight total tackles, no sacks and just one tackle for loss. But the advanced stats don’t do him any favors either.
Seth Walder of ESPN graphed the league’s edge-rushers by double-team rate and pass-rush win rate. Jones is stuck in the lower left quadrant. That means he isn’t getting double-teamed often and still isn’t winning his pass-rush reps consistently.
The Raiders are 31st in sacks with five. Crosby has four, and cornerback Nate Hobbs has the other. The Raiders desperately need Jones to earn some of that contract.
Week 5 Against Chiefs Is Great Time for Jones to Breakout
Having played in the NFC for the past six seasons, Jones hasn’t had to play against the Chiefs much. The last time he played them was in 2018 when Patrick Mahomes won the NFL MVP award. In that game, he had 2.0 sacks. The Raiders would love it if he can replicate that production.
He’ll likely have to line up against three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown for most of the game. That certainly won’t make things any easier but Brown hasn’t had his best season, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s got a grade of 60.5 and has allowed 13 pressures. He’s still a very good player but he’s been exploitable this season. Vintage Jones could make some plays against Brown. If he has a big day against the Chiefs, Raiders fans would be quick to forget his rough start.
Is Maxx Crosby Playing?
Maxx Crosby is fully healthy right now and looks like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate through four games. However, there’s a complication regarding his playing status. The Pro Bowl defensive end has a baby on the way with his fiancé and she could be berthed at any moment. Luckily for Crosby, it’s looking like the baby girl could wait a little longer and give him time to play Monday night’s game against the Chiefs. According to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Crosby is planning to travel to Kansas City.
Crosby is aware of how big of a moment this is for him but also understands that he has a job to do.
“Whenever I step in the building, I’m focused on the job 100 percent,” Crosby said. “We’re already staying ahead of it, and I have people ready to call me whenever that is so I’m not stressing about things I can’t control. She’s going to be here whenever she’s ready so I’m just waiting.”