Trey Flowers: 98 Days to Kickoff

Trey Flowers
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 30: Trey Flowers #98 of the New England Patriots reacts during the third quarter of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

This off-season, the New England Patriots office is counting down the days until the season opener by nominating the best player to wear each jersey number throughout history. Today marks 98 days left until the Patriots kick off the 2019 season. We nominate Trey Flowers as the best Patriots player to don number 98.

99 Days to Kickoff: Mike Wright
97 Days to Kickoff: Jarvis Green

98 Days to Kickoff: Trey Flowers

All Players to Wear 98

According to Pro Football Reference’s Player Index, the following players have worn number 98 for the New England Patriots:

Dennis Owens
Tim Edwards
Mario Johnson
Troy Barnett
Brandon Mitchell
Anthony Pleasant
Keith Traylor
Chad Brown
Eric Moore
Gerard Warren
Landon Cohen
Marcus Forston
Casey Walker
Trey Flowers

The Case for Flowers

The Patriots struggled for years to put together a consistent pass rush that could rival some of the AFC’s best. While they still haven’t put together a front that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks, the Pats did have a fearsome presence in Flowers.

His contributions were crucial in the Patriots postseason runs to both Super Bowl LII and Super Bowl LIII, and he started eight regular season games and all three postseason games in the Patriots journey to Super Bowl LI. His 12-yard sack on Matt Ryan in the second half of Super Bowl LI kept the Patriots in the game and set up the Atlanta Falcons punt that would result in the Patriots game-tying offensive drive.

Over the course of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 regular seasons with the Patriots, Flowers racked up 21 sacks, 164 tackles including 24 tackles for loss, 59 quarterback hits, and five forced fumbles.

Flowers was a disruptive force in New England, able to beat blocks sometimes by sheer force of will alone. If Flowers didn’t make his way to the quarterback himself, his presence consistently shook up the pocket and spoiled the play long enough for another rusher to shed their block and make the tackle.

His determination to make plays made the former fourth-round pick a huge name in the free agency market following his second Super Bowl ring in 2019, and he signed with the Detroit Lions on a well-deserved deal.

Honorable Mentions

Dennis Owens

Like Flowers, Owens also played on three New England squads that saw action in the postseason. But unlike Flowers, none of his postseason runs ended with a ring. The Patriots were knocked out of contention in their first games in 1982 and 1986. Owens was part of the 1985 Patriots team that lost Super Bowl XX to the Chicago Bears.

Owens spent his entire five-year career and started 44 games as a nose tackle for the Patriots. He recorded 14.5 sacks and three fumbles recovered.

Anthony Pleasant

Pleasant spent his twilight years in New England, wearing jersey number 98 in the navy and red. Pleasant had a banner year for himself in his first year with the Patriots in 2001. The defensive end recorded career highs in interceptions (2) and tackles for loss (11) while racking up 35 tackles, six sacks, and a forced fumble.

Pleasant played three seasons for a total of 37 games in New England. He ended his playing career in 2003 after appearing in only seven games that season.

99 Days to Kickoff: Mike Wright
97 Days to Kickoff: Jarvis Green

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