It isn’t a rolodex. Not yet.
But the list of quarterbacks sacked by Trey Flowers is lengthening.
It is, despite the fact the 2015 fourth-round pick out of Arkansas finished his rookie season on injured reserve without one. It is, despite the fact Flowers didn’t get to his first QB in a non-exhibition game until Oct. 30, 2016.
That afternoon marked the ninth appearance of Flowers’ New England Patriots tenure.
And it saw the defensive end and de-facto defensive tackle double up against Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel, bringing down one scrambling Buffalo Bill for a seven-yard loss in the third quarter and another for a two-yard loss in the fourth.
Taylor and Manuel are now among 13 and counting, if including the postseason, that Flowers has had a hand in sacking.
As for those who’ve joined them, here’s the chronological order entering 2018.
QUARTERBACKS SACKED BY FLOWERS
- Tyrod Taylor: 1 – Oct. 30, 2016
- EJ Manuel: 1 – Oct. 30, 2016
- Russell Wilson: 2 – Nov. 11, 2016
- Joe Flacco: 1 – Dec. 12, 2016
- Trevor Siemian: 2 – Dec. 18, 2016
- Matt Ryan: 2.5 – Feb. 5, 2017
- Alex Smith: 2 – Sept. 7, 2017
- Deshaun Watson: 1 – Sept. 24, 2017
- Jameis Winston: 0.5 – Oct. 5, 2017
- Derek Carr: 0.5 – Nov. 19, 2017
- Matt Moore: 2 – Dec. 11, 2017
- Ben Roethlisberger: 0.5 – Dec. 17, 2017
- Marcus Mariota: 1 – Jan. 13, 2018
That brings Flowers to 17 total sacks over his last 29 appearances.
Flowers has led New England’s defense in sacks in each of the last two regular seasons, with seven and 6.5, respectively. He’s posted five multi-sack games altogether when accounting for his career-high 2.5 on Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI.
And he has started every game he’s played since notching those first two in that 41-25 blowout versus Buffalo.
Taylor and Manuel have since gone elsewhere. In a less-literal sense, the same is true of the 6-foot-2, 265-pound Flowers.
According to Pro Football Focus, No. 98 ranked No. 14 among 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rush productivity last season, while tying for the most quarterback hits among edge-rushers. For a long-armed defensive lineman whose role extends beyond rushing, and whose strength and hand use are not limited to the outside, that is a value.
In no smart because of it, Flowers stayed in on defense for 802 snaps over 14 starts last regular season and never left it in Super Bowl LII.
Even in the pass-rush company of Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers and perhaps others, a similar rate should be expected in 2018.
Flowers won’t turn 25 until August and is scheduled to earn $1.907 million in base salary during final year of his rookie Patriots contract. He’ll have a chance to add new names to his sack list before the term runs out.
That won’t transpire in Week 1 against the Houston Texans, as Deshaun Watson’s has already been jotted down. It won’t in Week 10 or Week 15 with the Tennessee Titans’ Marcus Mariota and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, since theirs have as well.
But there are 13 starting quarterbacks on New England’s upcoming slate that Flowers hasn’t gotten to yet.
Time will tell whether that ends up requiring a rolodex.