Chris Jones, Chiefs defense roll into AFC playoffs

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Overlooked in all the statistical splendor showcased by the likes of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, receiver Tyreek Hill and other teammates, Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones sacked his way into the NFL record books this regular season.

With his sack of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Dec. 23, Jones recorded a sack in his 11th consecutive game -- establishing a new NFL record.

However, as the top-seeded Chiefs enter the AFC playoffs, they're coming off one of their best defensive games of the year -- a 35-3 lambasting of the Raiders -- and, consequently, Jones' streak was stopped. He didn't even record a tackle. Still, he believes the K.C. D has elevated its play at the perfect time.

"We know what we're capable of," said Jones via the the Kansas City Star's Lynn Worthy following Sunday's win. "We knew we had to make a statement this game."

Now, the Chiefs will wait for their Divisional Round opponent to emerge as they'll host the No. 4 Ravens, No. 5 Chargers or No. 6 Colts on Saturday, Jan. 12.

"Hell of a game for those guys," Jones said of the defense that forced four turnovers and held an opponent to single digits for the first time this year. "I know I'm talking in third person, but hell of a game. Three points! You can't beat that."

As for Jones, he'll look to terrorize quarterbacks in the postseason, where he has recorded four combined tackles across two playoff games -- losses in each of the past two seasons. He'll also be searching for his first playoff sack following a stellar run.

Dating back to 1982 when sacks became an official NFL statistic, only Jones has recorded a sack in 11 straight games. He surpassed Denver's Simon Fletcher and Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, who were tied at 10 with Jones. Jones, however, was the only player to have accomplished feat within the same season.

Jones, who is shockingly not a Pro Bowl selection, ended up third in the NFL with 15.5 sacks and second in the AFC. Rams man-beast Aaron Donald brought down the sack title with 20.5, while the Texans' J.J. Watt was his usual dominant self with 16.

All of Jones' sacks came during the streak, impressive as it was overlooked -- a description the Chiefs' defense wouldn't mind achieving as it waits to begin a hopeful ascent to its first Super Bowl since 1969.

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