FOXBOROUGH — Arthur and Camille Jones have found themselves in this position before.
In 2012, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Their oldest son, Arthur III, then a defensive tackle for Baltimore, got to see his dream of playing in a Super Bowl come true.
Their youngest son, Chandler, then a rookie for the Patriots, saw his season end.
The Jones family faces the same thrill of victory/agony of defeat scenario this Sunday. Arthur is a member of the Colts now, and Indianapolis will travel to Foxborough for the AFC Championship to face New England.
This time, the odds favor Chandler getting to realize his dream and play in the Super Bowl, but his parents will be headed to Arizona no matter what the outcome.
“My mom and dad are pretty excited,” Chandler said on Wednesday. “They get to go to the Championship no matter what. But it’ll be a good family gathering, and everyone will be there, so that will be fun for our family.”
The first time the Jones brothers’ teams faced off, in Baltimore in the 2012 regular season, their parents had special jerseys made, half Patriots road white and half Ravens road purple. They’ll likely have similar gear for Sunday, and will root for the defenses of both teams rather than favor one team over the other.
The middle Jones brother, Jon, a mixed-martial arts champion who was in the headlines recently for a failed drug test, will also be in the stands at Gillette Stadium.
Being that they both play defense, Arthur and Chandler won’t have the chance to face off one on one, and Chandler said they probably won’t talk before the game, though they’ll catch up after.
The three brothers, who all starred at New York’s Union-Endicott High School in various sports, were close, but Chandler, 24, said Arthur, 28, kept a watchful eye over his younger siblings.
“Growing up, it was very fun with us three,” Chandler said. “But my brother Arthur, he was the oldest brother and he would always look after us. He was always the older brother figure.”
Because of the demands of their respective jobs, as well as Arthur having a young family, the two brothers don’t get to talk too often. But Arthur’s influence on Chandler remains.
“He’s a good player and I’ve been a fan of him since he started playing football. He’s the reason why I started playing football. I followed him into the sport, and we’ve made it this far,” Chandler said.
Arthur is also the reason Chandler went to Syracuse, wanting to follow in his big brother’s footsteps.
Chandler missed six regular-season games because of a hip injury, and Arthur missed eight games with an ankle injury. Neither played when the Patriots traveled to Indianapolis for a November prime-time matchup.
Arthur’s presence has been cited by the Patriots this week as a reason the Colts’ defense has been much improved. When the sides met in Week 11, New England ran for a season-high 246 yards.
Chandler will play a major role in containing third-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
“I really don’t see Andrew Luck as a young quarterback at all,” Jones said. “I know this is his third year, we actually both got drafted the same year. But this guy, he plays like a veteran, and I’m pretty sure you guys see it as well. He’s a great quarterback. For a guy like Andrew Luck, our biggest thing is our execution. They’re going to come out with a game plan and we’re going to do the same thing.
“It all boils down to who plays the best. That’s what we’re going to try to do on Sunday.”
The Patriots gave up 31 points to Baltimore last week in the divisional round, and the Colts are considered a better offensive team. But Jones does not believe last week’s game means there should be grave concern over the Patriots’ defense on Sunday.
“I feel like each week, each and every team is a different team,’’ Jones said. “That just comes with game plans and how players are and how players feel and what kind of game certain players have.
“I feel like that’s just a part of the game. You try not to harp on what happened last week, but [focus on] the week we have now, which is against the Colts. As of right now, the score is 0-0, and we’re trying to put our best foot forward.”
Told that Luck apparently will compliment defensive players for sacking him or other good plays, Jones said he hasn’t heard those things from Luck — yet.