Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Trey Flowers in no rush to bring attention to himself and his potentially career high sack numbers

By Jeff Howe

December 31, 2017

FOXBORO — Defensive end Trey Flowers is peerless among Patriots pass rushers over the past two seasons, and he has a chance to set a career high today in the regular-season finale against the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Flowers has 6.5 sacks, which is just shy of his seven from a season ago. Barring a late charge from linebacker Kyle Van Noy (5.5 sacks, but potentially inactive due to a calf injury) or rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise (five sacks), Flowers will lead the team in back-to-back seasons.

It just isn’t a huge deal to him.

“It is what it is. I’m not looking for any milestones,” Flowers said. “As long as we get the win, as long as I do my job, that’ll be cool.”

Flowers has been impactful across the board. He leads the Patriots with 20 quarterback hits, 18 pressures and 44.5 disruptions (sacks, hits and pressures). Those numbers would have led the team last year, too, even including all playoff games, which is indicative of the punishment Flowers has levied upon opponents.

Plus, Flowers missed two games this season, and offenses targeted him far more frequently than in 2016, when the Pats also had Dont’a Hightower, Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich and Chris Long to help the pass rush.

Flowers, who is consistently businesslike with his approach, said it’s just been his job description to be better this season, and there’s nothing more to it.

“I know my role has increased, so therefore my opportunities to be productive have increased,” Flowers said. “It’s my job to continue as such and keep getting better.”

The stats don’t always tell the story, either. A great pass rush might not result in a sack, but maybe an incompletion or interception, or possibly even a sack for someone else. But regardless of how Flowers’ season is measured, it’s blown away his production from his breakout campaign from a year ago.

“I’m not a real numbers guy,” Flowers said. “I’m more about impact. Oftentimes, you probably get a good rush, but he could let the ball go in a second and it’s an incomplete pass, so there are things like that. I’m not a big numbers guy. I want to be as impactful as I can, do the best job I can.”

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