For the last two years, the Green Bay Packers have been waiting for Datone Jones to be a dominant force. And last night against the New England Patriots, he looked like one for one of the few times in his career.
Jones, a 2013 first-rounder, did not start at defensive end, Mike Pennell and Josh Boyd did, but it was Jones that made biggest impact.
The former UCLA Bruin torched the Patriots offensive line for a pair of sacks and showed the interior pass-rush prowess the Packers saw when they drafted him.
This season is an important one for Jones, who has been a disappointment in his first two seasons. He hasn’t been bad, but has just five sacks in two seasons and has not turned into the impact player Green Bay thought it was getting.
Yet, last night, Jones was impactful against both the run and the pass. And if he wants to find himself in the starting lineup or at least on the field frequently in 2015, he needs to keep putting together performances like the one he had last night against the Patriots.
Working his way into the starting lineup may not be easy with Mike Daniels, Letroy Guion and Boyd are all playing well, but if Jones can put together solid performances on a more consistent basis, he has the talent to be a three-down player.
The Packers need to get more out of Jones and hopefully Thursday night was a sign that that is what they will get this season.