Patriots: Who will lead the team in interceptions this season?
1. Duron Harmon
When considering who might lead the team in interceptions in 2019, who better to put at the No. 1 spot than the player who led the team in that same category in both 2018 and 2017?
Duron Harmon may not be the most well-known player outside of New England, but Boston has learned to love and embrace him for his well-deserved reputation for finishing games.
Nicknamed “The Closer” by Pats fans and local media, no one is better than Harmon at coming up with a crucial interception to end a football game. He did it to the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, he did it to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, and no one will ever forget how he did it to the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round of the 2014 NFL Playoffs.
Harmon had four interceptions last year and four interceptions the year before. He also finished second on the team in interceptions back in 2015 with three picks. Since being drafted by the Patriots back in 2013, Harmon has racked up an impressive 15 total interceptions.
Among players on the Patriots’ current roster, only Gilmore has accounted for more picks over that same timespan (2013-present) with 17. However, when considering Gilmore has 18 career interceptions over seven seasons as a starting NFL cornerback – compared to Harmon’s 15 career interceptions over six seasons as a Patriots backup and their No. 3 safety – it becomes readily apparent just how much of a knack Harmon really has for coming up with the football.
To be fair, it would be a surprise to see any one of the New England Patriots’ defensive players lead the entire league in interceptions in 2019.
This is a team that famously employs a bend-but-don’t-break defensive philosophy, one that prioritizes red zone stinginess and limiting points on the scoreboard rather than stopping big plays and/or limiting an opponent’s yardage total. As such, the true strength and pedigree of this defense is its ability to play as a unit greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Still, if any one player is going to finish the season leading the Patriots pack in interceptions, there’s a great chance that player will come from the pool of candidates listed above.