If before the season began, you had Flowers pegged as the Patriots’ leading sack producer, you’re either a gifted soothsayer or possibly Bill Belichick. A 2015 fourth-round pick, Flowers has turned almost overnight into an integral part of the New England defense. His 7.0 sacks landed him two ahead of Jabaal Sheard and three up on Chris Long and Rob Ninkovich, his next-closest teammates.
What makes Flowers difficult to block (and why he started earning so much playing time) is that he can get into the backfield from anywhere. He’s not just an edge rusher. He has lined up everywhere from DE to straight over the ball as a nose tackle, and he has produced in all spots. Flowers’s emergence has made it a lot easier to forget that the Patriots traded away Chandler Jones in the off-season.