Patriots: Siliga returns to solidify run defense
The Patriots reactivated defensive tackle Sealver Siliga off the short term injured reserve list this week. A player that has flashed in limited snaps, Siliga might not play much this week, but should be a major part of the rotation going forward.
Signed off the Broncos practice squad last season to help a struggling run defense, Siliga quickly made his mark for the Patriots – grading at +5.5 in the final seven weeks of last season (including the playoffs). During that stretch Siliga’s Run Stop % of 9.7 was seventh among all DTs.
At the beginning of this season he picked up right where he left off with a Run Stop % of 14.0 through the first three weeks – despite having a mitt covering one of his hands.
Activating Siliga a week before they had to shows the Patriots are eager to work him back into the mix. With the run defense being exploited in all three losses, and looking at the Run Stop % of the other players in the interior, it is easy to see why. Chris Jones, Dominique Easley, and Alan Branch have combined for just eight run stops in 258 snaps – Siliga nearly matched them in a mere 43 snaps (6 stops).
With this season’s homestretch the first opportunity to pair Siliga with Vince Wilfork for an extended period – the Patriots run defense should be stepping it up just in time for the playoffs.