Matthew Judon has special praise for Patriots breakout star Josh Uche

Matthew Judon has special praise for Patriots breakout star Josh Uche originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots have the most formidable pass rushing duo in the NFL entering the final four games of the regular season.

Matthew Judon is tied for the league lead with 14.5 sacks in 13 games. He has a real chance to tie or break Andre Tippett’s single-season team record of 18.5 sacks set in 1984. But Judon is not the only player climbing up the team’s sack leaderboard.

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Third-year linebacker Josh Uche is one of the most dominant pass rushers in the league right now. His 10 sacks since Week 8 are the most of any player over that span.

  • Week 8 vs. at Jets: One bag

  • Week 9 vs. Colts: Three sacks

  • Week 12 vs. Vikings: One bag

  • Week 13 vs. Bills: Two sacks

  • Week 14 vs. Cardinals: Three sacks

Uche tallied three sacks in Monday night’s 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals on the road. It was an amazing performance from a player enjoying a breakout season.

“I told y’all I wasn’t the best pass rusher, and our best pass rusher is emerging,” Judon said of Uche in his postgame press conference Monday. “People are going to have to block him. And if they don’t, and they chip my side, and they worry about me, Uche will do that every week. I just love the way he’s playing with confidence and poise.

“And this is the most he’s played since he’s been in the NFL. So it’s taken a toll on him, but he’s gone out there, and he’s had a lot of success. We all knew it, we all knew the type of player he is was, he was drafted pretty high here, and now he’s emerging, and folks are going to have to watch.”

Uche had plenty of praise for Judon, too.

“Judon has been a blessing in my life, man. That’s big bro. I don’t know where I’d be without him.”

Uche, Judon and the rest of the Patriots pass rush will face a tough challenge in Sunday’s Week 15 game against the Raiders because Las Vegas’ offensive line has given up just 23 sacks, which is the fifth-fewest in the league.

If the Patriots cannot put pressure on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, it could be a long day for New England’s defense. The Raiders offense has plenty of firepower with wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Josh Jacobs leading the charge.

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