Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who had the highlight of Sunday’s 30-7 victory over the Vikings with his return of a blocked field goal for a touchdown, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB and recounted his run to glory. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Bill Belichick noted after the game that the team works on blocking field goals every day in practice.
“Coach Belichick was right, we work on that every day. We work on it week in and week out, no matter who we’re playing. That’s one of the things we try to take pride in here in New England,” Jones said. “The biggest thing was, with blocking that kick, that was a team effort. A lot of people probably don’t understand — everyone thinks Chandler Jones went out and blocked that kick and stopped and scored — but that was 100 percent the 11 men on the New England Patriots, that was all of them. I feel like what people don’t understand is that other guys have to get penetration. Once everyone’s getting effective penetration, certain gaps opened up.”
Aided by his teammates on the outside making a charge, Jones burst through the middle to swat the ball down.
“That’s exactly what it is — guys on the outside giving 110 percent off the edge and it’s opening up things on the inside, and my gap happened to be open. Now as far as me scooping it, that was just a lucky bounce, I feel like. I blocked it right into my running lane as I was attempting to block it and the ball just one-hopped right in front of my hands and I just started running. Devin McCourty threw a great block. It was a great 11-man team effort.”
Jones said he wasn’t sure who was running alongside him, so he just kept the ball and ran as hard as he could.
“I had an interview yesterday and they asked me what was going through my mind as I ran down the field,” Jones said. “First of all, I didn’t know it was that long. I didn’t think it was that long. What was it, 58 yards? It didn’t feel like 58 yards. Our coaches do a great job of conditioning us.”
Added Jones: “What was going through my mind was just, ‘Don’t get caught. Don’t get caught.’ Because I just know when I come into the meetings Monday and we put that up on film the whole team’s probably going to laugh at me if I’m running too slow or if I get caught by a placekicker. … That’s what was going through my mind, just, ‘Don’t get caught, don’t get caught, don’t get caught, don’t get caught.’ And then I crossed the line and I said, ‘Yeah, I didn’t get caught.’ ”
The blocked kick was part of a solid overall defensive effort as the Patriots held the Vikings to just a first-quarter touchdown and nothing thereafter.
“A lot of that credit goes to our coaches,” Jones said. “They did a good job of putting me in the position to make plays, and that’s what they do a good job of week in and week out. I credit the coaches for my success, and my teammates.”
Jones said the Vikings’ success on their opening drive was a wakeup call, as the Patriots looked confused to start the game but took control thereafter.
“Ultimately I feel like we knew what we had to do. There wasn’t really much to be said,” Jones said. “Those guys came out there on that first drive and they drove on us and they scored. I felt like when we went back to that sideline we all looked at each other and we pretty much knew what we had to do, and we went out there and we definitely did it.”
Added Jones: “Guys were definitely flying around yesterday. And it’s fun. And it’s always fun. Football’s fun. I mean, that’s our job. Guys were just flying around yesterday, and it was just fun being out there. We’re out there just having fun. When we watch film today and we break it down, you’ll just see those few seconds after the clip is over, you see guys slapping hands and running around and maybe dancing. It was a great time. We have a good time out there.
“But the biggest thing ultimately is just that we’re moving forward, ready for the Oakland Raiders.”
The Vikings played without Adrian Peterson, who sat out after being charged by police in his home state of Texas for injuring his child after whipping the 4-year-old with a tree branch.
“Adrian Peterson is a phenomenal player. He’s a very good player. I’m a fan of Adrian Peterson. I always have been a fan, being a fan of the sport,” Jones said. “I was kind of — not disappointed, but I feel like it would have been good, it would have been a great test for our defense to go out and compete against him. He didn’t play, that’s unfortunate, [but] we’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
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