New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

  • By now, football fans across New England have recognized the tear Josh Uche has been on since returning from a hamstring injury in mid-October. Now, the league is starting to take note as well.

    On Wednesday, the NFL announced Uche as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against the Cardinals on Monday night. Uche had five tackles including three sacks, while playing a season-high 48 snaps. He’s the second Patriots player to win Defensive Player of the Week this season, after Matthew Judon did so in Week 5.


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  • While the award is just for Week 14, Uche has been playing at a high level for over a month now. Since he returned from his injury in Week 8, he has 10 sacks in six games. That’s the most in the league in that span, 2.5 sacks ahead of Nick Bosa. Monday night was Uche’s second consecutive multi-sack game, and his third of the season.

    Uche’s recent stretch doesn’t exist in a bubble. With his success, teams have had to focus more on him and pay less attention to Judon. That showed up Monday night, as Judon added 1.5 sacks to his season total, putting him back in a tie for the league lead with Bosa with 14.5.

    “Our best pass rusher is emerging. And people are going to have to block him,” Judon said of Uche after the game Monday night. “If they don’t and they chip my side, and they worry about me, Uche will do that every week.” Uche and Judon are the first Patriots teammates to both record 10 sacks in a season since Mark Anderson (10) and Andre Carter (10) did so in 2011.

    The crazy thing is, there’s actually significant room for the Patriots’ pass rush to improve as well. While Uche and Judon are winning on the edge, the Patriots have been without their best interior pass rusher since Week 6, when Christian Barmore suffered a knee injury. Barmore was later placed on IR, but it eligible to return this week. If and when he comes back, the Patriots will be able to really stretch opposing blocking schemes thin.

    That kind of game-breaking pass rush will be crucial for the Patriots as they look to make a late playoff push. Their final four games come against high-level offenses in the Raiders, Bengals, Dolphins, and Bills. If they’re going to slow those groups down, putting pressure on the quarterback will be key.

  • Josh Uche’s 2022 game log

     
    Tkl. Snaps
    Date Week Opp Result Sacks Solo Ast Comb TFL QBHits Num Pct
    2022-09-11 1 @ MIA L 7-20 0.0 1 0 1 0 0 17 28%
    2022-09-18 2 @ PIT W 17-14 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 20 34%
    2022-09-25 3 BAL L 26-37 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 5 8%
    2022-10-02 4 @ GNB L 24-27 0.0 1 0 1 0 0 16 22%
    2022-10-09 5 DET W 29-0 0.0 1 0 1 0 0 25 38%
    2022-10-16 6 @ CLE W 38-15 DNP
    2022-10-24 7 CHI L 14-33 DNP
    2022-10-30 8 @ NYJ W 22-17 1.0 2 0 2 1 1 22 37%
    2022-11-06 9 IND W 26-3 3.0 5 1 6 3 2 25 40%
    2022-11-20 11 NYJ W 10-3 18 36%
    2022-11-24 12 @ MIN L 26-33 1.0 1 0 1 1 1 17 25%
    2022-12-01 13 BUF L 10-24 2.0 6 1 7 0 3 32 43%
    2022-12-12 14 @ ARI W 27-13 3.0 4 1 5 3 4 48 64%
    Total 6-5-0 10.0 21 3 24 8 11
    Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 12/14/2022.
  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. 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 [email protected].

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