The Week 3 matchup between the Chiefs and the Jets will feature two of the league's best interior linemen: Quinnen Williams and Chris Jones. They train together during the offseason, were named first team All-Pro at defensive tackle for the 2022 season and will be a handful to block in Sunday night's matchup at MetLife Stadium.
"We are super close," Williams said. "I train with him every offseason. I try to do everything he does when it comes down to being on the field. That is my guy."
Last season, Jones had 15.5 sacks, 29 QB hits, 17 tackles for loss, and finished third in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Williams had similarly impressive numbers with 12 sacks, 28 QB hits and 12 TFL and finished seventh. The Jets defensive lineman credits Jones for helping him elevate his game to an elite level in 2022.
"I have copied everything he has ever done in his game," Williams said. "He has taught me a ton. Wisdom and knowledge on the field and off, I have taken it all and tried to put it in my game."
Jones, 29, was selected by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2016 draft out of Mississippi State. He signed a four-year contract extension in 2020. At the start of this season, Jones held out and missed all of training camp and the season-opener against the Lions.
Jones agreed to a revised contract in September and over the last two games has headed up a ferocious pass rush with 2.5 sacks, 3 QB hits and 2 TFL.
"He's a big body and he's long," C Connor McGovern said. "And then for how large he is, he's fast and quick. He is just a great, great combination to make a D-Lineman."
See photos of the Jets during Wednesday's practice in preparation for the Chiefs on Sunday night.
McGovern, was drafted by the Broncos in 2017 and spent four seasons in Denver, starting against Jones six6 times.
"I entered the league the same time as him," McGovern said. "I was at the Broncos. He was a Chief. I got to experience him a lot. And then my first year with the Jets we ended up playing the Chiefs. So, I have been fortunate enough to play him quite a bit. He's a great football player, arguably one of the best three tackles in the league. He can line up anywhere and play any position. He's a good football player."
The Chiefs' defense has gotten off to a fast start. Over the first three weeks, Kansas City ranks No. 6 in total defense and No. 4 in points allowed (78) – and Jones has been a catalyst of the early success.
"The biggest thing is obviously Chris Jones," head coach Robert Saleh said. "He is as good as anyone. Him, Quinnen [Williams[, Aaron Donald, they're game wreckers."
After the Jets placed LT Duane Brown on injured reserve last week (hip/shoulder), the Green & White started rookie Joe Tippmann at right guard, Alijah Vera-Tucker at right tackle and Mekhi Becton at left tackle against the Patriots. With McGovern at center and Laken Tomlinson at left guard, Vera-Tucker thinks the Jets have the talent and game plan to contain Jones and keep QB Zach Wilson upright.
"He has really good hands and he's quick for his size," Vera-Tucker. "He is a good player, and everybody knows that. I definitely think our O-Line has a plan for him. We just got to go out there and execute it."