Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green notched his first sack of the season Sunday, and earned a game ball from the coaching staff in the process.
Green's increased playing time over the last two weeks has been a trend of note -- 78 of 81 snaps vs. Miami; 50 of 58 vs. Carolina (including penalties). Green has started at right defensive end, and then moved inside as a rusher in sub packages.
It's been a heavy workload for him after he missed three games following knee surgery.
"I think he's done a very good job," defensive coordinator Dean Pees said today. "He's worked hard to get himself back. We've always thought the world of Jarvis. Even when everybody else kind of considered him a fourth defensive lineman, we considered him one of the top three. [We're] glad he's back and I think he's had some production in there. Especially in this last game, I thought he played very well."
Green finished with four tackles and the sack, helping the Patriots in a crucial part of their game-plan.
"One of the keys to this last game was, compared to the game before, we were better on third down (holding Carolina to 3 of 13). Jarvis was a big of that," Pees said.