Odds are pretty good that Patrick Mahomes is going to throw two touchdowns to break break Len Dawson’s 1964 single-season franchise record on Sunday.
That means someone is going to be on the receiving end of the historic throw.
So who will it be?
Thursday afternoon, defensive end Chris Jones made a pitch to be that guy.
“It would be great, for not only my resume, but for his,” Jones said. “So he can say he threw it to Chris Jones. I look at that as a win-win situation. It’s just about convincing the coaches to dial up something to make it happen.”
On a conference call earlier this week, Arizona coach Steve Wilks said Jones looked like a running back when he intercepted Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles’ screen pass and ran it back for a 20-yard touchdown. But the 6-6, 311-pound Jones doesn’t feel like that would be his natural position on the offense.
“Heck no,” Jones said when asked if he’d play running back. “Of course not, I would not get my knees damaged like that. But tight end, I would consider that. Tight end and quarterback. But running back, no no way. I would not put myself in harm’s way like that.”
This isn’t the first time Jones has lobbied for an offensive role. Last year, he told reporters he was the Chiefs’ third-string quarterback behind Alex Smith and Mahomes. Even now, he said he feels a kinship with other signal-callers.
“To be in the defense, you’ve got to have that anger toward quarterbacks, but I’m a quarterback myself,” he said. “So you know, it’s like, 50-50. I’ve got to love those guys. They’re one of me. We’re alike. One of a kind.”
Even if Jones isn’t inserted on the offensive side of the ball to make history this week, he’ll still likely have a big impact on the game Sunday.
After not recording a sack in the first four games, Jones has at least one in each of the last five. And against a banged-up Cardinals offensive line that’s allowed 22 sacks, he’ll have a good shot to pick up another one on Sunday.
“Teammates getting double-teamed, I’m getting one-on-one,” Jones said, explaining the difference in the last five weeks. “Right scheme of the defense. Bob (Sutton) calling the plays to set me up to be successful. That plays a lot into it.”
Against Denver, Jones enveloped quarterback Case Keenum before gently throwing him to the ground.
It’s not quite the vicious hit he might’ve laid on a quarterback last year, but with the NFL’s new rules emphasis on protecting the quarterback, it’s what he has to do now.
“Ten thousand dollars will make you do that,” he said. “With those fines they handing out, they’re pretty hefty. That’ll make you reconsider everything.”