When the Patriots lost linebacker Dont’a Hightower, people wondered who would step up to fill his shoes. The Patriots are a different team when he is on the field as he is versatile, playing multiple roles and getting his teammates in position. Luckily, the Patriots have Kyle Van Noy to lean on.
Van Noy has turned into an every down player for the Patriots. He has taken over the responsibilities as the leader of the defense with Hightower sidelined and performed well. This week, his job will be heightened trying to read and react to slow down the dynamic pairing of Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy.
Taylor and McCoy can give opposing defenses headaches. Both possess otherworldly athleticism for their positions and can break off a big play at a moment’s notice. It will be up to Van Noy to try and limit those big plays and get his teammates in position to make plays.
Van Noy has been all over the field for the Patriots this season. He leads the team in tackles with 57 solo tackles and 70 total. His five sacks are second on the team and he has added one pass defended for good measure.
Van Noy has a good chance to lead the team in tackles once again this week. The Bills aren’t afraid to lean on their running game, and it will be up to Van Noy to lead the charge in slowing it down. He will have his hands full against the Bills.