New England Patriots

Nov 18, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy (53) celebrates after an interception for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

In the second month of his second stint with the Patriots, Kyle Van Noy is playing some of the best football of his NFL career. He’s been so good, in fact, that the NFL has decided to take a closer look.

“Y’all won’t believe this…… I make a couple plays last night and guess what happens??? The @NFL is drug testing me today,” Van Noy tweeted Friday morning following his dominant performance against the Falcons. “You can’t make this up!”

Granted, it was one of if not the best performance of Van Noy’s eight-year NFL career. The 30-year-old recorded five tackles, two sacks, and had a pick-six to seal the game in the fourth quarter.

“It’s fun to play a game like that,” Van Noy said following the 25-0 win. “Those are the kind of games you dream about as a kid.”

Over the Patriots’ current five-game winning streak, there’s been plenty of dream-like games for Van Noy. In that stretch he’s recorded 15 tackles, five pass breakups, three sacks, a forced fumble, and now a pick-six.

Van Noy is being used noticeably more as an edge setter and in coverage than he was his first stay in New England. The rush generated by Matthew Judon and Christian Barmore has given him that flexibility, and he seems to be thriving in the role.

What’s been the key to Van Noy’s turnaround after a somewhat rough start to the season? It could be as simple as him getting healthy. Van Noy missed the second week of the season with a throat injury, and has been on the injury report since due to a groin injury.

Even though he remains in the injury report, things appear to be trending in the right direction. “Shhhh don’t tell anyone! Finally gettin (sic) healthy!!” Van Noy tweeted last week.

Van Noy’s play is a major contributing factor to the Patriots allowing fewer than 10 points in three straight game, and fewer than 14 in four of their last five. It’s the third time under Bill Belichick that the Patriots have allowed single digit points in three consecutive games, which is tied for the most such streaks in the NFL since 2005.

MORE: How the Patriots defense dominated the Falcons

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