DT Justin Jones’ return gives Chargers boost in loss to Patriots

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Even though there weren’t a myriad of highlights in the Chargers’ loss to the Patriots, the return of defensive tackle Justin Jones aided a horrid unit against the run.

Coming into Week 8, Los Angeles ranked dead-last in that category. But New England managed to average just 3.9 yards per carry with Jones back on the field.

Furthermore, the Chargers’ defense didn’t allow a single passing touchdown and allowed just a single one-yard touchdown on the ground through the first quarter.

“I felt like our run defense actually took an incredible step forward today,” head coach Brandon Staley said.

“A huge step forward, I thought we tackled extremely well, I thought we were really physical. I thought getting Justin Jones back was important. I felt like the way we played on defense today gave us a real chance to win.”

Despite struggling to get after QB Mac Jones, only pressuring him nine times, Jones led the pack with three and two hurries. In addition, he had a quarterback hit.

Safety Derwin James also commented on Jones being a key defensive player.

“Justin Jones is a big part of this team,” James said. “Having him back, I felt his energy on the first play of the game. I think it was he made a stop. It was a combination of both and everybody coming in and doing their job.”

Regardless of Jones’ return, it is still evident that the Chargers could largely benefit from another interior defender to help the group that is still susceptible to the run.