Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, part of a defense that has allowed just 16 points combined in the last two games, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday to recap Sunday’s win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Jones and his teammates kept the Raiders out of the end zone in a 16-9 victory, but he said there are plenty of things the team needs to work on.
“I feel like we also have room for improvement, always room for improvement,” Jones said. “We definitely could have done better, but a win is a win, and we’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s our thing is to keep moving forward.”
Jones was complimentary of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr last week, and he said Carr was quick to offer thanks — among many comments he made during Sunday’s contest.
“I spoke to Derek Carr during the game, actually,” Jones said. “He was one of the quarterbacks that actually spoke the most — most of any quarterback I’ve ever played against. … Not trash, not trash at all. Stuff like [saying hello]. Or, ‘You’re not going to catch me. It was strange.”
Added Jones: “I had said in an interview before the game, I don’t see Derek Carr as being a rookie quarterback — which I don’t, he’s a very good player. I guess he’s one of those guys who reads articles about him, because early in the game he came up to me and said ‘Hey, Chandler, I really like what you said about me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, thanks.’
“He’s a really good quarterback. He’s a very good quarterback. We didn’t get a chance to get him, because that’s credit to him. He has very good awareness in the pocket. There were a few times when I would have got another quarterback or someone that stood back there. He got away from me a few times, which is credit to him. He has very good scrambling abilities. He’s a young quarterback; I still don’t see him as a rookie quarterback. He’s a good player.”
Carr led the Raiders deep into Patriots territory in the final minute, looking for the tying touchdown. After a TD run was called back, Carr threw a pass that was deflected and landed in the arms of Vince Wilfork.
“We were just trying to be composed,” Jones said of the final drive. “I know it was a very critical situation at that time of the game where they had the ball in our high red area and we had to stop them. I wouldn’t say we got nervous, I’d just say we knew how critical the situation was, and a big-time player like Vince Wilfork made a great play.”
Jones said Wilfork predicted he would get a pick.
“Vince Wilfork called that. He called that interception,” Jones said. “He told me, he said, ‘I’m feeling one this week.’ He said that to me.”
Jones credited Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo as being the players who inspire the defensive unit.
“Those guys are both vocal leaders out there on defense,” Jones said. “If you guys are watching in the games, you’ll see their helmets going back and forth and them trying to line us up right, them trying to encourage us to move forward to the next play. When we do get a big play scored on us or a big play, a pass completed on us or something like that, those are the guys that are saying, ‘Hey, let’s move forward, next play, you’ve got a whole game to play.’ Or if you have one bad play, those will be the guys who will come to you and be like, ‘Hey, you know what? Move on. We’ve got [more] time to play.’ “