KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — The gloves stay, and that means the stench will live on in the Chiefs locker room.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones burst through the line for a sack in the fourth quarter of Sunday Night's game against the Seattle Seahawks to keep his sack streak alive. The 6-foot-6, 310-pound bulldog came into the night tied for the longest streak of consecutive games with a sack in NFL history. Jones now sits alone with 11 consecutive games with a sack.
By extending his streak, he also assures his routine and superstitions won't change — even those that come with a special type of pungent aroma. Jones explained this past week that he's maintained the same schedule — including eating the same meal every Mondays at Mother Clucker Kitchen.
That also includes a pair of gloves he was wearing when his streak started. Jones admitted the consensus in the locker room has been the gloves smell like "dead animal."
"Listen, this is Week 14 of the season. I'm not switching up anything," Jones said earlier in the week. "Everything is about where it's going to be right now. Like I was telling (Derrick) Nnadi, by week 10 you know what's going on, your routine. You kind of pick up on what you like to do, what you don't like to do."
A third-year defensive lineman out of Mississippi State, Jones tied the NFL record last week in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He extended his streak to 10 games with 2 1/2 sacks against the Chargers.
That performance tied him with former Denver Broncos edge rusher Simon Fletcher (Nov. 15, 1992-Sept. 20, 1993) and former Dallas Cowboys and Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Dec. 16, 2007-Oct. 19, 2008) as the only players to put together such a streak. Though neither of the men who he joined in the record book accomplished the feat entirely in one season.
"Go back, and you guys were here, you saw the change in his body and how he really took care of himself physically with diets and workouts and all of that this offseason," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "His body fat is way down. He works his fundamentals and techniques. That's what he does. He still has room to grow, which is great. He isn't tapped out by any means where he is at. I will tell you it all started in the offseason."
Jones, who lost 25 pounds during the offseason, cut pork out of his diet and loaded up the vegetables and fish. He said the catalyst for the change was suffering a torn MCL in last year's playoff game.
Jones, who entered Sunday night with 14 sacks while rushing as an interior lineman, has registered three games with two sacks or more this season. All 14 of his sacks came during the 10-game streak.
During a conference call on Wednesday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll partially credited circumstances for giving Jones chances to get after the quarterback. With teams forced to play catch-up against the Chiefs, it basically made it matter of when not if Jones would break free.
"He's got such explosiveness that if you give him enough chances, he's just going to make a play," Carroll said. "That's kind of how it has happened. They've been ahead a lot, so they've been able to rush the passer a lot, and they've had a lot of good opportunities.
"We all like that on defense — you get back there when teams are trailing and they have to take more chances and their more predictable. You can take advantage of that. Chris has done a great job of timing his rushes up, knowing what's coming and making people miss. He's really hard to deal with."
The Seahawks mixed run and pass, and relied on Quarterback Russell Wilson's ability to move away from pressure while buying time in pocket. Wilson, who'd rushed for an average of 24.7 yards per game this season, rushed for 35 in the first half on Sunday night.
The Seahawks, the top rushing offense in the NFL entering this week, rushed for 126 first-half yards. That run-pass balance also makes it difficult for rushers like Jones to go all in on the rush.