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Matthew Judon: I’m not our best pass rusher, Josh Uche is emerging as our best pass rusher

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons spotlight the players and coaches who stood out in Week 14 of the 2022 NFL season.

Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, but he says he’s not the best pass rusher on his own team.

Judon said after Monday night’s win against the Cardinals that New England’s best pass rusher is Josh Uche, who sacked Colt McCoy three times.

“I told you all I wasn’t the best pass rusher and our best pass rusher is emerging,” Judon said of Uche. “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 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 was, he was drafted pretty high here, and now he’s emerging, and folks are going to have to find out.”

Judon leads the Patriots with 14.5 sacks this season, while Uche is second on the team with 10. But Judon, a starter, has played almost three times as many snaps as Uche, a backup who comes in on pass rushing downs. Uche records a sack on a higher percentage of his plays than Judon does, and now that Uche is starting to get more playing time, he’s thriving: Uche has nine sacks in the last five games.

A 2020 second-round pick, Uche has emerged this year as a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. His future is very bright.