The Kansas City Chiefs have relied on Patrick Mahomes most seasons to get them to the Super Bowl — and wile the QB is still undeniably a major factor heading into Sunday’s matchup vs. the 49ers — the KC defense have been the main reason for the team’s late run in 2023.
Heading into the playoffs, the Chiefs boasted the No. 2 defense in the NFL allowing just 289.8 yards per game and 32 touchdowns so far. The only team ranked above them are the Cleveland Browns who give up less yards per game (270.2) but have allowed 44 touchdowns, significantly more than Kansas City.
The Kansas City Chiefs biggest strength is defending the pass by putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and forcing them to beat their impressive cornerbacks and safeties.
Chris Jones is a main part of the pass rush, entering Sunday’s matchup with 30 tackles and 10.5 sacks. The elite defensive tackle has spent his entire career in Kansas CIty, since getting drafted out of Mississippi State in 2016 in the second round. He’s also been a major force in the playoffs, recording 6 tackles, 4 QB pressures, a sack and a forced fumble in the postseason.
Jones has been the face of the Chiefs defense for a long time and has produced nearly every season he’s been with the organization. This marks the third year in his career he surpasses the 10-sack mark, and he had an eye-popping 15.5 sacks last season and in 2018. The Kansas City Chiefs big man hasn’t recorded less than 6.5 sacks in any season other than his rookie campaign in 2016, where he finished the year with 2.5.
Jones is widely considered to be one of the top defensive tackles in the league —and with his current contract expiring after the 2023 season — his future remains uncertain.
Kansas City Chiefs Star Chris Jones Makes Shocking Announcement About His NFL Future Ahead Of Super Bowl
Chris Jones can elevate the Kansas City Chiefs to dynastic heights by winning their second straight Super Bowl. After that, he’s not guaranteed to remain with the organization.
After holding out for a long-term extension through Week 1, Jones signed a one-year, $25 million deal. The star edge rusher could headline this offseason’s free-agent class after consecutive All-Pro campaigns.
Via Brian Costello of the New York Post, Jones acknowledged that Sunday could end his Kansas City tenure. But he’s not ruminating about the future.
“I know there’s a possibility this could be my last game with the Chiefs. You just take it all in,” Jones said. “I’ll let the offseason do its thing. I don’t really focus on it. I’m not too worried about it. After everything is settled and the dust clears, we’ll see where we’re at.”
Chris Jones anchored the Kansas City Chiefs No. 2 defense with 10.5 sacks and 39 pressures this season. He’s continued to bring the heat with four quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and a team sack this postseason.
The 29-year-old could command one of the largest contracts for a non-quarterback. His upcoming Super Bowl counterpart, Nick Bosa, signed a five-year, $170 million extension with the San Francisco 49ers in September.
Kansas City can also retain Jones for one more season by exercising a $32 million franchise tag. For now, Jones is focused on his fourth Super Bowl appearance.
“I’m living in the moment and enjoying the moments as they come,” he said. “Maybe after the season ends and we get a victory, I’ll reflect then. Right now, there’s no time to reflect. It’s week-to-week, and every week you have a new game to prepare for. You don’t really get time to sit back and take it all in.”
There’s absolutely no doubt Chris Jones will be a hot commodity for teams seeking a dynamic tackle who can thrive in pressuring the QBs and also stopping the run. PFF has him rated has the No. 1 free agent heading into the offseason.