Matthew Judon Sacks The New England Patriots' Franchise Record Through Five Games

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As the New England Patriots returned to the red throwback jerseys Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium, the red sleeves remained for No. 9.

So did the streak.

Matthew Judon hit home on Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff to force a punt in the second quarter. It marked the veteran outside linebacker’s fifth consecutive game with a sack. And it made him the first player in franchise history to record at least one in each of the first five games of the regular season, breaking a tie with Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Andre Tippett from 1986.

“I’m just out here to win games, honestly,” Judon reflected during his postgame press conference. “Setting records, that’s nice. And having your name remembered or called, that’s lovely and that’s why we play this game as individuals. But I’m always on the team.”

There would be a sixth sack of the fall recorded before halftime in Foxborough. The result was six points for his.

After beating left tackle Taylor Decker around one side, Judon beat right tackle Penei Sewell around the other to strip the football out on fourth down. Safety Kyle Dugger recovered the fumble and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown as New England’s lead extended to 13 over Detroit. That lead soon extended to 29 as the visiting offense, which entered with the NFL lead in points scored, finished the shutout 0-for-6 on fourth down.

“As a defense, you want the pressure on you,” added Judon. “Whether it’s in the fourth quarter and you need a stop, or a play on fourth down, you want the pressure on you. We embrace that as a defense, and we have plays called and put in to allow me just to go. And then sometimes I got running game or a loop, things of that nature, but when I get those calls or hear those calls, I’m excited. I don’t take any play for granted. I play full speed, full tilt, but when I know I get to go, it’s a little extra get-off off the line just because I know my defense got my back.”

Judon had earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection in 2021 after arriving on a four-year, $54.5 million contract featuring $30 million fully guaranteed. The Division II Grand Valley State product did so while setting an edge as well as a career high with 12.5 sacks.

Now at age 30, Judon stands with 18.5 sacks through 22 games with New England. He also stands with 53 sacks since entering the league in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.

“I told him and Trent [Brown] in the preseason that, you know, their physical abilities are different than everybody else on the team,” Patriots safety and captain Devin McCourty told reporters on Sunday. “Like, they can take grown men and move them. And if they come out week by week and set the tone, it sets a tone on offense and defense really for the whole game. I think Jude has done that.”

For Judon, the 2022 campaign began with takedowns against the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mitchell Trubisky, Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson and Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. He was credited by Pro Football Focus for an additional seven hurries and four hits on opposing passers over that span.

His cap figure of $16.5 million ranks atop the roster. From September into October, it hasn’t been hard to see why.

“Judon had another great day,” head coach Bill Belichick said after New England improved to 2-3. “Again, he’s a very physical presence for us on the end of the line.”

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