Through five games of the 2022 NFL season, Matthew Judon is off to a historic start in retrospect to any other New England Patriots pass rusher. Judon has racked up six total sacks to start the season, becoming the first Patriot to ever record one sack in the team’s first five games.
Against the Lions last week, Judon put quarterback Jared Goff through the ringer en route to earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. The rusher pilled up seven total pressures and two sacks, one a strip sack that lead to Kyle Dugger’s touchdown.
The quarterback who Judon will tee off against this week — former Patriot quarterback Jacoby Brissett — has certainly taken notice.
“He is obviously a freak. He is everything that [Bill] Belichick wants in a player,” Brissett told Cleveland reporters on Thursday. “Does everything well, the tasks that he needs to do. Can move him around everywhere. Tough and physical, but that is their team. That is the model of their team. That is evident when you turn on the film that it is still the mindset there.”
“Thank you,” he said with a smile on Thursday before explaining the respect he has for Brissett.
As to what makes him the ideal player in a Bill Belichick defense, Judon wasn't sure, but was sure his teammates play a large role.
“Honestly I don't know,” Judon explained. “I’m gonna give to the credit to my teammates man. They always have my back. We fight like brothers, we get mad at each other, but at the end of the day it’s all love and respect for one another. With that, I can just be myself. ... I just give all the credit to my teammates, I couldn't do any of this without them.”
Judon will not be the only talented pass rusher in this contest, as Cleveland features a formidable duo of Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney along the edge. Judon noted he watches their game, but makes sure to stay true to himself in the process.
“I steal from everybody, that’s the NFL. I’ve watched those guys and I admire their game but I’m kind of me at this point. Year 7, I’m kind of stuck in my ways,” he said. “They’re both first overall picks, they both were that for a reason, freakish, athletic guys... but there’s only so much I can steal from their game, I still gotta be me.”
Judon will look to continue his scorching start to the season in Cleveland on Sunday.