The New England Patriots Matthew Judon has had about enough of the “random” drug tests coming from the NFL, and he took to social media to voice his frustration with the process.
Judon, second in the NFL in sacks with 14.5, posted this iMessage he received from an NFL official on Thursday morning notifying him that he has been “selected for a Performance Enhancing Substance test,” later that day.
Judon tagged the NFL Players Association and the NFL in his retweeted response, saying, “leave me the F alone.”
Judon hasn’t ever popped for Performance Enhancing Drugs in the NFL, but the frequency he’s being tasted isn’t sitting right with him. The 30-year-old remains arguably the most valuable player on the Patriots’ defense–and some would say the entire team in 2022.
After signing a four-year, $54 million deal with the Patriots ahead of the 2021 regular seasons, Judon has been New England’s most consistent pass rusher and defender.
Judon made his third Pro Bowl last year after setting a career-high with 12.5 sacks. Through 13 games, Judon has already surpassed that number with 14.5 in 2022. Judon is currently on pace to generate about 19 sacks this year.
If he stays on pace on increases his rate of quarterback punishment, Judon will break Patriots legend Andre Tippett’s single-season franchise record for sacks. Tippett had 18.5 in 1984.
Judon’s pass rush has been consistently strong, but he suddenly has a teammate putting together similar numbers.
Josh Uche is Surging
Judon is still the Patriots leader in sacks, but his young teammate and mentee, Josh Uche, is hot on his trail. Uche earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he tallied three sacks and a quarterback hit that caused Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy to toss a costly interception.
Uche now has a whopping 10 sacks on the season and what’s more impressive is that he has compiled them all over the past five games. Uche could wind up with 18 sacks at his most recent pace.
The 24-year-old has seemingly navigated some ups and downs during his first two years in the NFL. However, it looks like he has found the switch and flipped it when rushing the passer. With Judon and Uche, the Patriots have an enviable pair of edge rushers who could give Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr fits when they head to Sin City looking for their eighth win.
What’s Next For the Patriots?
The Patriots snapped a two-game losing streak on Monday night with a 27-13 win over the Cardinals. The defense nominated with tons of pressure on the quarterback, and they will need to keep that same energy when they try to contain Carr and all-world wide receiver Davante Adams and running back Josh Jacobs.
Former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coaches the Raiders. McDaniels and the Raiders are clinging to some very fragile hopes of making it into the playoffs. Their best path to success will be to win out the rest of the way. At 5-8, the best record the Raiders can have at the end of the season is 9-8. That might help them qualify for a spot, but it all begins with knocking off the Patriots.
New England needs a win as well. The Patriots are currently in the seventh and final playoff spot, but they have the same record as the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers. Tiebreakers are currently the difference for the Patriots, but they must continue to win–starting with the Raiders–if they are to hold on to the final postseason spot.