Patriots' pass rush generates spark with franchise-record eight sacks

From ESPN - January 14, 2018

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots set a franchise playoff record with eight sacks in Saturdays 35-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans, with New England defensive end Trey Flowers detailing part of what contributed to their success against quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Hes a step-up guy, so you want to get that penetration up the middle and dont allow him to go outside on the edge, Flowers said, adding that the coverage in the secondary was crucial in taking away Mariotas first read. We know hes a guy that if he doesnt get an open look, hes going to look for the rush. Thats what he did. We had a lot of guys making plays.

Rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. tied for the team high with two sacks, along with DE Geneo Grissom, who picked up his late in the fourth quarter. Trey Flowers, defensive linemen Adam Butler and Ricky Jean Francois and linebacker Marquis Flowers also registered sacks.

Part of what contributed to the performance was strong play against the run on early downs. That was reflected in how the Titans had 12 third-down situations in which they needed seven yards or more to convert.

And that allowed the defense to call on a dime package that included three linemen (Trey Flowers, Butler and Wise) and two linebackers (Marquis Flowers, Kyle Van Noy) -- a grouping that brought a lot of energy to the field.


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