The headlines surrounding the New England Patriots’ 2-3 start to the regular season have revolved around quarterbacks Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, and who should be considered the starting QB. However, veteran linebacker Matthew Judon’s performances have been overlooked and he has arguably been New England’s MVP thus far this season. After leading the Patriots’ defense in a shutout of the Detroit Lions 29-0 on Sunday, Judon was recognized for his exceptional performance by the NFL. Josh Alper of NBC Sports reported that Matthew Judon was awarded the AFC Defensive Player of the Week, and deservedly so.
Judon recorded two sacks, four pressures on QB Jared Goff, and a forced fumble that led to a touchdown return from safety Kyle Dugger. Dominating the number one ranked offense after the first four games of the season is quite the achievement for New England’s defense, and hopefully will boost their confidence heading into the rest of the campaign. Matthew Judon has been an integral part of New England’s defensive success. In each matchup this season, Judon has picked up at least one sack a game. He has recorded 19 tackles, ten assisted tackles, a forced fumble, and a league-leading six sacks.
The seventh-year linebacker out of Grand Valley State University signed a four-year, $54.5 million contract for the Patriots in the 2021 offseason. In his first season in New England, Judon posted a career-high 12.5 sacks, 60 tackles, and 22 assisted tackles. The strong start to Matthew Judon’s second season with the Patriots has been a welcome sight and he is certainly considered the anchor of New England’s defense.
Strength In Numbers
New England’s exceptional defensive performance against the Detroit Lions is just one example of the Patriots’ consistently holding off their opposition’s offenses. The Patriots have only let up a total of 27 points and a 38.4% third-down conversion rate through the month of October. New England’s defense has a staggering ten turnovers already this season, averaging two a game.
Safeties Kyle Dugger and Devin McCourty have established a strong connection in the back of the defense, combining for 41 tackles. If you are looking for a solid Defense on your Fantasy team, the New England Patriots could prove to be a reliable option off the waiver wire. New England’s defense is ranked 12th in the league in points allowed per game, holding their opponents to an average of 19.6 points per matchup.
The Patriots’ next game against the Cleveland Browns will be another important test for their defense, going up against running back Nick Chubb who has had an excellent start to the season. Chubb has 593 rushing yards from 98 attempts, averaging a monster 6.05 yards per carry. The Patriots’ defense will have to prove they are the real deal in Cleveland to help get the team back to .500, and all eyes will be on how they handle star running back Nick Chubb.
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