The Buffalo Bills will visit Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday to take on Kansas City for the AFC Championship. It’s widely expected that the Bills will need to pile up some points to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Kansas City offense. Standing literally in the way of that goal will be defensive tackle Chris Jones. At 6’6” and 310 lbs per pro-football-reference.com the formidable Jones leads the team in sacks and QB hits with 7.5 and 28 respectively. Let’s hit some recent tape to see who will be staring Josh Allen down all game.
The first thing that pops out when watching Chris Jones is his power. Wyatt Teller makes a great starting point for this journey. In limited action with the Bills, Wyatt didn’t lack for strength and has come on this season as a more complete player with the Cleveland Browns. To see him walked back is pretty impressive.
You can see this in both plays, but this angle highlights it better. Jones is good at churning his hands, giving his opponent one more thing to deal with as he presses forward. Offensive linemen seek to lock things in place on plays like this. Having to constantly adjust to hand-fighting creates a problem for that goal.
Chris Jones can be pretty agile for a big man, but as might be expected that can be a bit inconsistent. More important on this play is his motor, working back to the ball. Also of note, there are no worries with his ability to wrap up.
Another payoff from the hand technique is the ability to shed a block when necessary. Jones showed the prowess to free himself on a consistent basis. Combined with his reach, Jones can clog a lane even when he’s not.
Jones didn’t get double teamed as often as we’re used to seeing from Star Lotulelei but it happens regularly. This shows off his peak as he pretty easily handles it. Pay particular attention to his left foot. The heel remains planted throughout, but a pivot allows him to maintain leverage as he redirects the block.
Chris Jones has a pretty good compact swim move, and I saw a spin move or two tossed in. That said, his bread and butter seems to be the power game.
Chris Jones is not a flashy player. But he doesn’t need to be. An effective power rusher, Jones floats over the line and disrupts in a straight line. Not only did he flip from side to side, Jones sees time at 3-tech and 2i on a regular basis, but isn’t a stranger to 4-tech or wide-9 either.
You might think his power style might make it harder to get to faster quarterbacks. His 1.5 sacks on Deshaun Watson and 2.0 sacks on Lamar Jackson suggest otherwise. Jones is one more player for the Bills, and their fans, to worry about.