Overreaction #4: Justin Jones is vitally important for the defense
In the past several weeks, the defensive line has struggled a bit, largely due to a collection of injuries.
The most frequently discussed injuries along the defensive line have been those to the pass-rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
While the return of that duo to full health has certainly been important, one critical return that has not been discussed as frequently has been Justin Jones.
While he does not ever make a substantial impact on the stat sheet, it is clear that he has a big impact on the team. After last week’s game, Anthony Lynn lauded his work as a leader, but Jones showed his ability as a player as well this week.
Simply put, Justin Jones has a significant impact on both the run and pass game. His impact on interior rushes was obvious in this game, as the duo of Jones and Linval Joseph made the Broncos interior running game a non-factor from the start.
Justin Jones also had a surprising impact on the passing game as well from multiple perspectives. First, Jones made an impact as a rusher, forcing Drew Lock to make some early throws.
Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, Jones’ presence has allowed a bit of a resurgence of Jerry Tillery. After Tillery had a fantastic start to the 2020 season, he cooled off quite a bit when asked to play as a nearly every-down player.
With the addition of Jones, Tillery has re-emerged as a pass-rushing presence in his preferred role, where he collected a sack and multiple pressures in Week 8.
It is clear – while the return of Melvin Ingram was impactful, the return of Justin Jones may have had just as much of an impact.
Verdict #4: Not an overreaction