Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Patriots DE Trey Flowers rated as NFL's top edge defender by Pro Football Focus

Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers reads a play during New England's 25-6 win at Buffalo on Monday. (AP Photo/Chris Cecere)

By Andrew Callahan
October 30, 2018

Not Von Miller, not Khalil Mack, not even J.J. Watt.

The NFL's best edge defender midway through the season is ... Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers.

With eight weeks in the books, Pro Football Focus has ranked Flowers ahead of his peers with a 90.8 grade for the season.
The fourth-year defensive end owns two sacks, 15 tackles and a forced fumble through seven games played. Flowers has taken 55.8 percent of New England's defensive snaps and more than 70 percent since he returned from a concussion in Week 4.

Before the Patriots' trip to Chicago in Week 7, Bears coach Matt Nagy spoke to Flowers' generally understated impact; the type that reveals itself best during a review of the all-22 coaches film.

"He's not the quote-unquote big-name guy, but he's the big-name guy amongst the coaching world," Nagy said Wednesday. "So we know who he is and what he can do and we respect him. We know he's a hell of a player. ... He can hold the point. He's quick, he's strong, he's fast, he plays in front of the quarterback.

"So we know that he's a good football player."

In Buffalo on Monday, Flowers was arguably the best player on the field, as he racked up run stuff after run stuff to go with two TFLs and a couple quarterback hits. Entering Week 7, Flowers had totaled seven hurries, two QB hits, a pair of run stuffs and one holding penalty drawn. He's also now deflected two passes.

Flowers led the Patriots in sacks and QB hits each of the past two seasons. His steady ascension should result in a major pay day soon, as Flowers is set to hit free agency this offseason. New England drafted Flowers in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Arkansas.

Shortly after fellow 2015 draft pick Shaq Mason received a five-year, $50 million extension in late August, Flowers said that he was happy for Mason and did not see their contract situations as related.

"What he eat don't make me ... you dig what I'm saying?" Flowers asked, referring to a line from the Jay-Z' song Heart of the City (Ain't No Love).

"That really don't got nothing to do with me. I'm just focusing on myself," he added. "I'm just working, man. I'm going to let that handle itself when the time comes, and I'm going to just keep working. It is what it is."

Flowers and the Patriots return to action Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 8:15 p.m.

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