We're only a week into the season, but here's one thing I know for sure about the 2012 Patriots: Chandler Jones is going to test everyone's patience.
In a good way, of course.
You see, the problem with Jones is that he already feels too good to be true. From the moment he took the field in Week 1 of the preseason and made Saints Pro Bowler Jermon Bushrod look like George W. Bush we all knew that he was something special. Not only for his skills as a football player, but for how rare those specific skills are to the New England Patriots. Jones is a young, exciting, powerful and potentially dominant outside pass rusher. AKA, someone the Pats have lacked for the better part of eternity. So when we saw this monster blowing up the Saint offensive line, it was damn near impossible not to get carried away. He looked like the guy that Pats fans have waited their whole lives for.
But everyone fought the good fight, and tempered expectations as much as humanly possible. After all, it was only one preseason game.
And now, it's only been one regular season game, but the temptation to crown Jones as a savior on the Pats defensive line is stronger than ever. Again, so much of that is a matter of New England never having the pleasure of watching a guy with his skill set. Or at least not on the Pats. For the last decade, we've seen how guys like Dwight Freeney, Jason Taylor and, more recently, Jason Pierre-Paul wreak havoc on another team's game plan. As opposing fans, we're far too familiar with what it's like to know a pass rusher of that caliber lurking on the other side of your quarterback. And the idea that someone like that might finally play for the Patriots is so foreign that it's almost beyond description. It makes it so hard to keep both feet on the ground. But we'll keep trying. And hopefully Jones will keep doing his best to make sure we don't succeed.
Anyway, in a moment of weakness, I looked up some all-time Patriots sack records. Just a few things to keep in mind as Jones moves along on this promising rookie campaign:
Most sacks in a season by a Patriots rookie: Garin Veris, 10 (1985)
Most sacks in a season by a Patriot: Andre Tippet, 18.5 (1984)
Most sacks in a career by a Patriot: Tippet, 100
Here's hoping all three records fall this season.