Identity Of Patriots Defense? Matthew Judon Delivers Perfect Summation

'We a nasty group'


November 19, 2021

As a team, the Patriots draw their identity from the defense.

But does the defense itself have an identity?

New England’s ascending unit shut out the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday in a 25-0 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Patriots sacked Matt Ryan four times and came up with four interceptions against a very limited offense.

New England has outscored its opponents 70-0 since the Cleveland Browns scored a game-opening touchdown last Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defense hasn’t given up any points in the 19 drives since.

And Matthew Judon has been at the center of everything. The stud linebacker had another big game Thursday, picking up yet another sack to give him a career-high 10 1/2 on the season.

During his postgame news conference, Judon offered a colorful description of the mindset of the Patriots defense.

“We kinda wanna be a-holes on the field, but good guys off the field,” Judon said. “Make sure we don’t get penalized. We play within the rules, but we a nasty group. So, that’s how we like to play, and that’s how we gotta play in order for our team to win.

“And we enjoy it.”

New England was awfully impressive Thursday night, but Atlanta was an inferior opponent, especially on offense. The Falcons were without star receiver Calvin Ridley and dual-threat weapon Cordarrelle Patterson, and their offensive line was terrible.

Nevertheless, the growing body of work indicates that the Patriots defense has established itself as one of the best in the NFL. New England will face a stiff test Nov. 28 when it hosts the Tennesee Titans in a game that could have huge playoff implications for both teams.

The Patriots currently are 7-4. The 8-2 Titans will host the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
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