After a stellar performance that included two sacks of Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff, New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon earned the AFC Defensive Player of the Week award.
Judon achieved a terrific feat of six sacks in five games, with at least one sack occurring in each game. He is the first player to do this since Clay Matthews III in 2019. Judon currently is tied for the most sacks in the league and is making a case for the AFC Defensive Player of the Year award.
The funny thing is that Judon had six and a half sacks through this point last year (The difference is that he didn’t record a sack in all five games), which was a franchise record. You could argue that he is off pace to match his 2021 totals.
Matthew Judon off to another hot start in a New England Patriots uniform
Still, it is notable to say that he did slow down after that hot start to the year, as Judon only recorded six sacks in the final 11 games. This noted downturn in production frustrated him, and he made conditioning a priority in his offseason training.
While his current pace is set at about 20 sacks for the season, which is relatively unrealistic, if he is able to finish at about a sack a game while being an imposing defender in the run and pass game, he will remain a strong candidate for the AFC DPOY.
Judon’s place in New England Patriots History
It feels crazy to put Judon among the likes of the many legendary New England defensive players only a season and a third into his New England Patriots career, but he has made an impact that makes that conversation justifiable. He is the main focus of opposing game plans, allowing other players to go more under the radar, and is arguably the face of the post-Brady era so far.
Additionally, he dons the iconic red sleeves that have become beloved among fans and media alike.
With excellent statistics, an iconic look and tremendous fan appreciation and engagement, Judon has all of the potential to become one of the best to wear a New England Patriots uniform.