New England Patriots

Judon was once again a menace up front, and continues to be the Patriots' defensive MVP. One sack, two QB hits, and two tackles for a loss for Judon, who has keyed the Pats' pass-rush in all four games this season. If the Patriots pulled off the upset, it would've been fair to point to Judon as the No. 1 reason why.

For a 1-3 team, the Patriots’ moral is noticeably high this week. This still feels like a roster that can compete for a playoff spot, despite the fact that just 13 percent of teams to start 1-3 have made the postseason since 2000.

That’s a feeling that emanates from the inside-out. When players have spoken with media this week, their attitudes haven’t been that of a team that is already counted out.

Confidence like that can only come from strong leadership, which the Patriots seem to have in their locker room. Outwardly, nobody has been more of a tone-setter than linebacker Matt Judon.

“The energy is high. We’re not getting down on ourselves. We’re not moping. We’re not dragging our feet and our arms. We’re getting right after it,” Judon told reporters on Thursday when asked about the mood of the team after Sunday’s loss. “We know what our record is, but we know what we have in the locker room…We’ve got 13 more games – we can win all the next 13. We just – you can’t get down on yourself like that.”

Judon has brought an edge from Baltimore that Patriots fans know all to well to New England this season. From calling Tom Brady “just the next quarterback we face” last week, to his comments on Thursday, he’s proving to be the kind of player a winning culture can be centered around. Between his on-field performance (4.8 sacks, eight QB hits in four games) and what he’s added as a leader, he’s living up to his billing as the Patriots’ top signing this offseason.

MORE: Patriots Recap Podcast

Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at