From a statistical standpoint, Chandler Jones’ first season with the Las Vegas Raiders was a disappointment, to say the least. While he still had the support of his coaching staff and teammates who regularly praised him, Jones still posted career lows in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss, aside from the 2020 season in which he played just five games.
Jones has been one of the most prolific pass-rushers of this generation, and the Raiders brought him in last season to help ease the pressure off of defensive stalwart Maxx Crosby. Now coming into the 2023 season slimmed down, Jones is looking for a bounceback year, but he doesn’t view stats as the ultimate measuring stick of how he plays.
According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Jones wants to increase his numbers this season, but he will still put the team first and not solely play to chase those numbers:
“Football, especially at this level, statistics are very tricky,” Jones said. “You can sit there and stare at stats, but at the end of the day as long as you’re grading out well by the coaches and you’re doing your job, and you might be freeing up other guys, as long as you’re putting the team first, that’s all that matters.
“Do I want more stats? Of course. Is that my goal? Of course. I would be selling myself short if I didn’t. But you can’t go chasing them.”
It is certainly true that sometimes certain numbers and statistics can be overvalued. Many will focus on certain stats and believes that tells the whole story of a player’s impact, but that simply isn’t the case. Crosby was even the victim of this last season with being snubbed from an All-Pro selection in favor of players whom he outplayed but had higher sack numbers.
Especially on the defensive line things like collapsing a pocket or eating up multiple blockers can have a huge impact on things. A player may not get credit for a tackle or sack, but they were crucial in the defense’s success, and that is what Jones is focused on.
As he said, Jones plans on increasing his counting stats as well, as that will help the team win which is the ultimate goal. But that team success comes first and any way Jones can contribute to that, whether the stats show up or not, he is clearly willing to do, and those are the types of players you want on your team.