ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Kyle Van Noy has brought pressure for the New England Patriots all season, but he entered Week 8 sackless. That changed in a big way in the Patriots’ 25-6 win over the Buffalo Bills on Monday night.
Van Noy forced a turnover on his first sack of the season when he stripped Bills quarterback Derek Anderson late in the third quarter. Safety Patrick Chung scooped up the ball for the takeaway.
Van Noy’s second sack of the game and season followed after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
“Felt good,” Van Noy said after the game. “Just knew it was coming. Put in a lot of film study, and everybody did their job. (Defensive backs) did a good job holding up. Just luckily the ball came out and made a play.”
The Patriots have had trouble finishing pressures this season. They entered Week 8 31st in the NFL in sacks per game. Then they had three, including one by Adrian Clayborn, Monday night.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” Van Noy said. “I think it’s our tenacious style that we’re playing that we’ve been doing for the last couple weeks now. Sometimes the score hasn’t indicated that, been in tough situations, but we needed to do a better job of withstanding those, and we did that, holding them to field goals when we were put in tough situations. We did all right.”
The Patriots’ defense came up big Monday night, holding the Bills to two field goals and just 333 yards. The Bills gained just 46 yards on the ground for 2.4 yards per carry.
Van Noy rushed the quarterback just 13 times, but he came away with the two sacks, a quarterback hit and a hurry. He was forced to move back to inside linebacker with Dont’a Hightower inactive because of a knee injury. Van Noy has mostly played outside linebacker on the line of scrimmage as an edge defender this season. He said the inside role requires more communication.
“Any time it’s hard to replace somebody like that,” Van Noy said. “A little rusty, but just get a little rhythm of the game and the flow of the game. It’s like riding a bicycle.”
And he had some help from Hightower on the sideline.
“Oh yeah,” Van Noy said. “He’s a beast.”
Van Noy wouldn’t disclose what Hightower told him on the sideline.
“I can’t tell you,” Van Noy said. “That’s a secret.”
Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images