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The Patriots' Pass Rush Against the Bills

On Sunday against the Buffalo Bills the Patriots defense set a new season-high in blitzes and pressures against the opposing quarterback.

NFL: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports


  • Contrary perhaps to expectations the Patriots chose to blitz Tyrod Taylor a lot on Sunday. The rate of 39% of five or more rushers represents a season-high for the team. A week after facing Landry Jones with a three-man rush on more than 50% of the dropbacks.
  • The result of that was a season-high in pressure percentage with nearly 48%, surpassing the 44% set in week one at Arizona.
  • Alan Branch was surprisingly effective as pass rusher, pushing back the interior of the Bills' offensive line time and again.
  • Jabaal Sheard had a disappointing afternoon as rusher, collecting only one hurry in 33 snaps.
  • Rob Ninkovich looked much improved compared to the previous three weeks where he only managed a total of two pressures.
  • Despite bringing the pressure the Patriots' defensive line continues to show the problem of turning hurries into hits or sacks. With the exception of Flowers' two sacks all hits on Tyrod Taylor came by players on a blitz.