Josh Uche has been stellar over the past six games. Uche was considered a Patriots bust for his first couple of seasons. Judon and Josh are carrying this pass rush to heights that I could not have expected going into this season. However, Josh’s breakout moments are what is keeping me excited during the Patriots game. If you would like a film analysis on Uche, check out this video.
Uche before the NFL
Josh Uche went to Michigan after being a three-star recruit coming out of HS. He barely played his first 3 years. He played in 5 total games in his freshman and sophomore years and registered one sack in those years. In his junior year, he would be a rotational piece and garner seven sacks. Uche’s senior season he would have 10.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks. He did all of this while also being able to cover tight ends. He would declare for the draft after his senior season. Going into the NFL out of Michigan, Uche was seen as a top pass rusher in the draft and a coverage guy. Josh could do it all at the linebacker position. He is fast, strong, athletic, has great bend off the edge, and could rush from the inside as well.
He did have his weaknesses though, he isn’t long and had a bit of an injury history. However, the biggest issue was his position. Would he be a coverage linebacker or a pass rusher? That confused a lot of teams and he fell to the sixtieth pick in the 2020 draft where the Patriots snagged him up.
First two seasons
During his rookie year, he did not play a lot. One reason he did not play was that he was buried on the depth chart and the second was injuries. He was put on IR twice in his rookie season. Through nine games and one game started, he was only able to put up 14 pressures, 1 sack, and 9 tackles. His second year was basically the same story, buried on the depth chart and injuries leading to only 17 pressures, 3 sacks, and 12 tackles. Uche’s first two seasons were rough, but he knew it was time to turn it up a notch.
Uche’s 2022 Season
However, 2022 has been a different story. After starting the year off slow, missing 2 games, and not registering a sack until week 8 when he came back from that injury, he has been dominating opposing offensive lines since the halfway point of the year.
Uche has sacked the quarterback ten times in the last six games, yes ten. He registered two in a loss against Buffalo in Week 13 and another three on Monday Night in Arizona. He also had a strip sack of Josh Allen and David Quessenberry was shivering his timbers trying to block him. The former Wolverine has also had 8 tackles for loss and 24 pressures during this time. This is a great thing for the Pats because Matthew Judon kind of disappeared for a couple of weeks so Uche’s comeuppance has been needed.
Last night against Arizona, Josh Uche was an absolute animal. He would sack Colt McCoy three times and have four quarterback hits. Josh beat tackle Josh Jones on a “change-of-pace” rush where he stutter-stepped, then sped up and even got past a hold to bring McCoy to the ground. Uche also completely bull-rushed Kelvin Beachum and wrapped up the quarterback and brought him down. However, his biggest play was pressure in which he hit Colt as he was throwing the ball and rookie Marcus Jones came away with a big interception. That play made by Uche and Jones would lead to Pierre Strong Jr., another rookie, scoring a three-yard touchdown for the game-sealing score.
Josh Uche has come out of nowhere since week 8 and has shown all Patriots fans why he was drafted sixtieth overall in the 2020 NFL draft.
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