Raise your hand if you thought defensive tackle Malcom Brown would help fill the void of pass rushers Trey Flowers and Kyle Van Noy on Sunday. OK, now put your hand down and stop lying.
Brown led the Patriots in pressures Sunday while taking on an increased role in the passing game. The Patriots had four sacks in Sunday’s 23-3 win over the Buffalo Bills despite Flowers being inactive and Van Noy taking on a reduced role because of a calf injury. Brown had one of them.
Check out this week’s takeaways and charting stats.
— Of Brady’s nine incompletions, one was thrown away. The Patriots didn’t have any drops, none of Brady’s passes were batted at the line and none of his incompletions came as he was hit while throwing. As far as Brady’s standards go, it was an average performance as he went 21-of-30 for 258 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
— Brady was 2-of-4 for 57 yards with an interception on passes that traveled 20 yards or more.
— Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead both had strong performances while the Patriots rushed for 191 yards on 35 carries. Lewis forced three missed tackles on 15 touches and averaged 4.4 yards after contact. Burkhead forced four missed tackles on 15 touches and averaged 2.33 yards after contact. James White didn’t force any missed tackles.
Joe Thuney: two sacks, one hurry
Dwayne Allen: two hurries
Nate Solder: two hurries
Shaq Mason: one QB hit
David Andrews: one hurry
— Right tackle fill-in Cameron Fleming didn’t allow a single hurry while replacing Marcus Cannon and LaAdrian Waddle. That came as a big surprise.
— Thuney previously had only surrendered one sack all season. He struggled against Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams.
— Solder had a false start and illegal block above the waist. Fleming also was flagged for a false start.
Malcom Brown: .5 sack, one QB hit, three hurries
Eric Lee: 1.5 sacks, one QB hit
David Harris: 1.5 sacks, one hurry
Deatrich Wise: two hurries
Kyle Van Noy: .5 sack
Alan Branch: one hurry
Adam Butler: one hurry
— What a performance by Brown, who hasn’t generated much pressure throughout his NFL career. Brown seems to be playing a little lighter this season.
— Lee has made a huge impact in two games with the Patriots. He has 2.5 sacks in his first NFL games.
Malcolm Butler: 3-7, 31 yards, PBU
Devin McCourty: 3-5, 24 yards, PBU
Stephon Gilmore: 2-6, 22 yards, two PBUs
Patrick Chung: 3-4, 15 yards
Jordan Richards: 2-3, 13 yards
Elandon Roberts: 1-2, 7 yards
Jonathan Jones: 1-3, 3 yards
Eric Rowe: 0-1, PBU
Eric Lee: 0-1, INT, PBU
Kyle Van Noy: PBU
— Gilmore continues to impress. If Week 12’s 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins wasn’t his best game of the season, then this week’s was. His two pass breakups came near the goal line as the Bills clearly were targeting him in the red zone.
— Butler also had a solid performance. The Patriots’ secondary is dominating as of late.
— Lee’s interception was thrown straight at him, but give him credit for actually catching it.
Malcom Brown: four stops
Adam Butler: one stop
Lawrence Guy: one stop
Deatrich Wise: one stop
David Harris: one stop
Elandon Roberts: one stop
Malcolm Butler: one stop
Patrick Chung: one stop
— On top of providing a pass rush, Brown also was active in the run game. He seems to be fully healthy after missing time with an ankle injury.
Stats via Pro Football Focus Elite