Ninkovich “Thunderstruck” Highlights!
The Patriots defensive end group starts and almost ends with Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich. The two combined to play the most snaps by two defensive ends in the NFL.
Behind them the depth is either coming off injury or largely unproven. In a league where your defense lives or dies by their pass rush, do the Pats have enough horses to control the edges for five-plus months?
Here’s our take on the defensive end group.
Rob Ninkovich | New England Patriots Highlights | The Jet Killer | HD (by ThePatriotWayMixes)
Chandler Jones teaches Rob Ninkovich how to dance [x]
How come we don’t see more of these moves out of Nink after big plays?
The four sacks that the Patriots’ defense collected on the day give the appearance that their pass rush was dominant when in fact the pressures were lacking all day long. The defense managed just 14 total pressures on the day and managed to pressure Tannehill on just 11 of 41 dropbacks. Even then, of those 14 pressures, four came on blitzes from corners and linebackers. The defensive line was generally ineffective and had a cumulative pass rushing grade of -5.0. The main culprit for the Patriots was Rob Ninkovich (-1.8) whose only pressure came via running back Daniel Thomas. It will be interesting to see if the high snap counts for Ninkovich and Chandler Jones(-0.4) catch up with them down the stretch. Jones leads all 4-3 defensive ends in snaps with 1002 while Ninkovich is second at 971.
I think one of the biggest problems of this season, and one that hasn’t been that affected by injuries, is the lack of depth at defensive end. When you break down the pass rush problems, I think that’s a big factor, even if Ninkovich and Chandler are pretty much set for the next few seasons as the starting defensive ends.
Michael Buchanan got the early nod but was a scratch on Sunday. Jake Bequette has been MIA all season and it seems likely he’s nothing more than camp fodder next season.
This forced them to bring back Andre Carter who unfortunately is not the same guy he was in 2011. The Pats should look long and hard for a designated pass rusher in the mold of 2011 Mark Anderson this offseason.
Lots of love for Nink today. Much deserved…