Stephon Gilmore’s performance in the Patriots’ win over the Bengals should improve his chances to be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Another New England Patriots game, another incredible showing from cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
The 29-year-old cornerback is well on his way to a second straight Pro Bowl berth (and third in his career), thanks to yet another mind-boggling defensive performance. The former South Carolina Gamecock has essentially eradicated any doubts as to who the best cornerback in the NFL is – that is, if there were still any doubts or arguments to begin with.
Gilmore had two interceptions against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, both off veteran quarterback Andy Dalton (who threw four picks total). One of Gilmore’s INTs put a quick halt to the Bengals’ opening drive of the second half. His second INT was a flying 64-yard pick-six that he took to the house to put the Patriots up 27-10 in the third quarter.
New England went on to win the game 34-13.
Gilmore now has six interceptions this season – the most in the NFL by any player. He also had picks against the Dallas Cowboys, New York Jets, New York Giants, and the Miami Dolphins earlier this year.
Additionally, Gilmore has 42 tackles this season (34 of them solo) to go along with 14 passes defended.
In a season that has been defined by exemplary defensive play for the defending Super Bowl champions, Gilmore’s play has stood out. Jamie Collins, Devin McCourty, Kyle Van Noy, and Lawrence Guy have all had incredible seasons for the Patriots – as have fellow New England defensive backs J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, and Jason McCourty.
But no one has quite had the kind of season that Gilmore has. The only question now is – will it be enough to merit consideration for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors?
Other top contenders for the award this year include the San Francisco 49ers’ Nick Bosa, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick, or the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald.
The award typically goes to the league’s leading sack artist or tackler, but this year’s candidates in those categories – Shaquil Barrett and Bobby Wagner, respectively – haven’t necessarily set the NFL on fire the same way that some of the names listed above have for their particular teams.
Bosa seems like a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and he could also challenge for the DPOY award as well… particularly given the 49ers’ impressive record as a team this year and meteoric rise in the NFC. Gilmore has probably done more through 14 games than Fizpatrick, and Donald’s candidacy takes a bit of a hit based off the Rams’ struggles in 2019.
We may be biased admittedly, but for our money, the DPOY award should go to the best player on the best defense in the league. The New England Patriots inarguably have the best defense this season, and Stephon Gilmore without a doubt has been their best player. By this logic, Gilmore should win the award when all is said and done.