A reporter asked a New England Patriots teammate to comment on the team’s decision to trade away quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The response was not what Matthew Judon expected, and it may be bad news for his career with the Patriots
Matthew Judon’s Quip About New England Patriots Teammate Mac Jones Is Bad News for the Rest of the NFL. Matthew Judon, who plays for the Baltimore Ravens, made a comment about his teammate Mac Jones that is bad news for the rest of the NFL. In response to a question from an interviewer about whether or not he was surprised by how much time Jones had missed in training camp, Judon said “I don’t know what he weighs but I’m pretty sure it’s more than me.”
It’s no secret that the greatest way to keep a locker room or clubhouse happy is to win. The 1970s Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees may disagree, but for our purposes in 2021, let us assume that life on the New England Patriots is quite peaceful right now.
Linebacker Matthew Judon has been a significant part of the Patriots’ success on and off the field, with a personality as bright and breezy as the Autumn breeze in New England. In the Patriots’ 14-10 win against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, ask Josh Allen whether Judon’s presence was noticed.
You don’t have to ask Pats quarterback Mac Jones about it, however. Jones received a blow from Judon in the postgame news conference after trying just three passes — a club record — that was plainly good-natured between the two but sent shivers up the spines of all competing playoff teams.
“Aside from Mac, hats off to the offense,” Judon joked. “He didn’t do anything other than hand the ball off.”
Behind the mike, two things were going on. Both are bad news if you’re expecting to stop the Patriots from winning another Super Bowl.
The Patriots defense is playing at a shockingly high level of efficiency, evoking memories of former winners.
Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images/Matt Judon
Through 13 games, the stats tell the story: first in points allowed (200), third in yards allowed (4,030), third in turnovers (26), and fourth in first downs allowed (four) (231). The Patriots have only allowed more than 13 points in a game once during their current seven-game winning run.
The formidable Pittsburgh Steel Curtain defense of the 1970s, or even the famous one-year marvels in Chicago (1985) and Baltimore (1986), are examples of persistent domination (2000). All of those clubs have one thing in common: they’ve all won Super Bowls. They all had a kind of assurance, a swagger, that was as scary as their physical power.
The type of intimidation that comes from a linebacker calmly face-washing his quarterback for only throwing the ball three times in a game, knowing full well that Jones was only following out the game plan and placing the onus on the defense to keep the score at 14 points.
Only one side has scored more than 13 points in the last seven games. Judon rose to the occasion and triumphed.
The Patriots defense took advantage of the heavy winds against the Bills to put Josh Allen in a no-win position.
The Bills were only able to score once against the Patriots on Monday night, and it took an extraordinary wind-aided muffed punt deep in Patriots territory to set it up.
It was one of just two occasions the Bills were able to score a touchdown. When confronted with third- or fourth-down plays, the Patriots were able to return Josh Allen and the Bills offense to the sidelines 10 out of 14 times.
Another way to look at the Patriots’ domination on Monday is that they ran for 222 yards and the Bills had 230 total yards. The Patriots had given up 270 running yards to the Tennessee Titans without Derrick Henry the week before. Buffalo gained just 99 yards on a night when rushing the ball was difficult.
It’s team unity when the defense teases the quarterback instead of fussing about him.
The Ravens of 2000 were perhaps the most reliant on their defense to win the Super Bowl. That was a club that went five games without scoring an offensive touchdown, led by quarterbacks Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer. Two of the games were won by the Ravens.
But, as center Jeff Mitchell told Baltimore-area website pressboxonline.com in 2020, the defense never turned on the ailing offense.
“That was one of the things that stood out about that team: everyone appeared to get along,” Mitchell remarked. “Even though we went five games without scoring a touchdown, there’s a lot of mutual respect.” I’ll tell you one thing: if I were on defense, I’d be irritated with us. The way they all dealt with it was absolutely different.”
The Patriots haven’t had such problems on offense since they went on a seven-game winning streak and rookie Jones settled into his job as game manager for a run-heavy offense.
Monday’s run-heavy was taken to an extreme, but to excellent effect. And Judon’s wink-and-nod to Jones in the postgame press conference, when he goofed on him, indicated how much the defense respects how far the rookie quarterback has gone and how much they realize the offense is keeping up its half of the deal.
This is a team that works together and keeps an eye on each other. These are the most dangerous of all the teams.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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