10 dark-horse Super Bowl MVP candidates who aren’t Patrick Mahomes, Brock Purdy

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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8. Chris Jones, DT, Chiefs

He has been named to five consecutive Pro Bowls and earned All-Pro honors two consecutive seasons. While he may not put up off-the-chart numbers when it comes to sacks, he pushes the pocket as well as an interior defender in the league. However, the 2023 season got off to an odd start for the Kansas City Chiefs and defensive tackle Chris Jones.

Andy Reid’s team kicked off the defense of their Super Bowl LVII title with a 21-20 home loss to the Detroit Lions. Jones did not play in that game and a few days later signed a one-year, $19.5 million “restructured contract” with the team (via Spotrac).

He and second-year defensive end George Karlaftis tied for the team lead in sacks this season. What’s interesting about Jones is that there are not huge numbers when it comes to getting the opposing quarterback on the ground. In fact, he’s played in 18 postseason contests, has 2.5 sacks and has been held without a QB trap in 16 of those games.

That’s why the numbers are deceiving when it comes to the real impact Jones has on opposing offenses. In those playoff outings, he’s totaled five tackles for losses and 14 quarterback hits while knocking down 11 passes. A nuisance indeed for those trying to keep their offense out of harm’s way.