Wave after wave, the Patriots drowned Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore with a storm of pass rushers on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Based on the Pats’ performance a week earlier against the Raiders, they were ready to break the dam, and that’s how it went down during their 35-17 victory. That trend might now suggest the Patriots could be on their way toward fielding a more relentless pass rush down the stretch, but that is also dependent upon the health of their two most vital quarterback-seeking missiles. Defensive end Trey Flowers had his best game of the season against the Dolphins with two sacks, a forced fumble, two pressures and two run stuffs (tackles for no gain or a loss), but he suffered a rib injury that has a chance to impact his availability against the Bills this week, according to a source. Flowers didn’t break any ribs, but it’s a week-to-week injury that could ultimately come down to pain tolerance. He certainly has a chance to play, though it’s too early in the week to know for sure. The Patriots’ entire pass rush revolves around Flowers, who leads the team in sacks (6.0), quarterback hits (15), pressures (15) and total disruptions (36). He is a sack short of matching his career high, and he already has more disruptions (sacks, hits and pressures) than any Patriot in 2016, including the playoffs. Against the Dolphins, Flowers beat a double team for a third-down pressure on a Moore incompletion, and he beat another double team for his second-quarter sack, which preceded Stephon Gilmore’s interception. Flowers also should have had a forced and recovered fumble if the officiating crew didn’t blow the play dead due to supposed stop of forward progress. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who had a sack, two quarterback hits and a run stuff against the Dolphins, departed with an injured calf. It’s too early to know if he’ll play Sunday, but his injury isn’t expected to cost him more than a game, according to a source.
Patriots pass rush is rolling, but can that continue?
Boston Herald | Nov 28