FOXBOROUGH – Defensive lineman Chandler Jones has never been to Atlanta for a football game, so he’s looking forward to getting to the Georgia Dome for Sunday’s contest against the Falcons.
Jones might be able to lend a hand if any of his teammates are lacking in dome experience (it’s been a while since the Patriots last played a regular-season game in a dome, although the Super Bowl two seasons ago was indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium). He played his college football at Syracuse, which uses the Carrier Dome for home games.
His best dome advice?
“Be sure to hydrate. Playing at Syracuse, I felt like we had the advantage on a lot of teams because they weren’t used to playing in that atmosphere. You can always turn the heat up,” Jones said. “It’s harder to breathe, so hydrate, maybe get an IV before the game, something like that. It’s a lot warmer, guys cramp up.”
Wait, is Jones insinuating that Syracuse would purposely crank the heat up? Did it work?
“It definitely worked for the Orange,” Jones said. “That was our 12th man right there, that hot Carrier Dome.”
Jones figures to work up quite a sweat, regardless of the temperature set at the Georgia Dome. He’ll be chasing Matt Ryan around, trying to apply some pressure to Atlanta’s franchise quarterback. Ryan has been sacked five times in the first three games, and thrown for 909 yards and six touchdowns, completing 68 percent of his passes.
Jones and his defensive teammates are in for a challenge.
“Matt Ryan is a good quarterback, and I feel like that’s my challenge every week, to get after the quarterback, I take that as a personal challenge, to be honest with you,” he said. “With a guy like Matt Ryan, you don’t want him sitting back there just picking your defense apart, you want to rattle him a little bit.”