CLEVELAND — When Chris Jones proclaimed during training camp he wanted to the lead the league in sacks, many viewed it as another hyperbolic boast from the effervescent Chiefs defensive end.
“I told my coach once you're living right, God blesses you with sacks,” Jones said with a smile after Kansas City 37-21 win over the Browns Sunday.
With a sack in his fifth-straight game, Jones makes a case that for the prediction not consisting entire of hot air. His five sacks through nine games put him on pace to eclipse his personal best of six and a half sacks reached last season. He ranks second on the Chiefs behind only Dee Ford with eight sacks.
Jones has the five sacks along with an interception and a forced fumble during his last five games. His hot streak coincides with the Chiefs defense showing signs of improvement, but he views that breakthrough as a team effort through hard work and perseverance.
“I think it's about getting better and improving every week,” Jones said. “I don't think it clicked overnight. I think we got it in us to be great, a great defense. It's just continue to build every week, continue to create turnovers, continue to affect the quarterback.”
Sunday's first half didn't start promising for Jones and his teammates, however. The Browns controlled the clock for 18 minutes, 31 seconds, producing 15 points and 217 yards of offense.
“We knew they were going to give us all they had with the coaching change,” Jones said. “We knew we was going to get their best shots. I'm very proud of this defense stepping up, offense showed up. We just got to continue.”
In the second half, however, the Chiefs flipped the script on the Browns. The Chiefs yielded just six points and 171 yards of offense while forcing a turnover and a blocked punt.
“We missed some tackles, got a few penalties on the fourth-and-1, we kind of beat ourselves on that,” Jones said. “We came out, settled down, made the adjusts we need and started playing Chiefs-style defense.”
The sack from Jones threw Mayfield for a 13-yard loss, and briefly knocked him from the game. Jones came through the line virtually unblocked and quickly swallowed up Mayfield
“It was a pressure and they ended up blocking down, and I ended up coming free,” Jones said.
Jones wrapped up Mayfield and pushed him backward rather than taking him to the ground. Safety Ron Parker joined in on the tackle and struck Mayfield with the helmet, sending the quarterback to the sideline for an examination for a concussion.
He admitted concern for the NFL's rules protecting the quarterback entered his mind as he proceeded unabated toward Mayfield.
“That played a part in it,” Jones said. “You know these days you landed on him wrong, you get called for a penalty. So I just tried to hold him, keep him up and let the ref blow the whistle.”