Matthew Judon is off to another hot start in his second season with the Patriots, registering a sack in each of the first four contests while also adding four quarterback hits and seven pressures. Judon's disruptiveness has been a key ingredient for the Patriots defense and is a reminder of his hot start last season when he had 6.5 sacks in the first five games of the season.
However, the 2021 free agent signing would record just six more sacks the rest of the season, including zero in the last five games, but his strength and burst are back on display as he looks to put together a complete season in 2022 and chase the records of other Patriot sack masters like Andre Tippett and Chander Jones.
"It don't really mean nothing but I'm here to break all of Tip and Chandler Jones' records," said Judon with a smile. "Good players and I'm just happy to have my name mentioned with them. Elvis [Dumervil] told me just find out all the records that the red guys have and go try try to break those. As long as it's within the defense and helping us, but the main goal is try to win games."
The analytics back up Judon's hot start, with the edge player garnering a 69.7 defensive grade from Pro Football Focus ranking as the highest of his career, while also coming in second on the team behind Deatrich Wise (nine stops) with eight stops.
Against Detroit's high-powered offensive attack, Judon's pressure potential will play an important role in not letting Jared Goff settle into a rhythm but he'll have to get through two tackles that were selected in the first round, Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell., to do so.
"They're playing really good football. They're protecting the quarterback and they're really good football players," said Judon of the duo, adding of his defense's goals this weekend, "Get to the quarterback, try to stop the run, try to force them to be one dimensional even though they've got a great passing attack and then try to effect every pass play."
Detroit boasts an excellent rushing attack, one that could pose problems for a Patriots run defense that ranks 31st in DVOA. Judon had no specifics to point to for improvement, instead putting the early performances on the entire defense.
"We just got to play better run defense all around," said Judon. "When you give up yards like that it's not just one thing, it's all around. That's what we have to do."
But perhaps most interesting will be seeing no. 9 in a red Patriots throwback jersey this weekend. Judon originally caught attention for wearing bright red long sleeves under his uniform. Now, this weekend it will be all red for Judon, but he didn't commit to sticking to the look if it doesn't work.
"I don't know, we're going to find out, we're going to see how it looks," joked Judon. "If it looks bad next time I'll wear a different color, y'all let me know."