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Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore wins Defensive Player of the Year

Stephon Gilmore, Patriots

The New England Patriots’ Stephon Gilmore has been named the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

The honor was announced just a day prior to Super Bowl LIV. Gilmore becomes the first defensive back since 2010 and the first cornerback since 2009 to win the DPOY. He’s also the first member of the Patriots to bring home the honor.

The announcement isn’t exactly surprising. Gilmore established himself as the best defensive back in football in 2019 while helping lead the Patriots’ defense as the best ranking unit in the NFL. New England allowed a league-best 14.2 points per game and allowed just 13 passing touchdowns all year while snaring 25 interceptions. Both categories led the NFL.

As far as Gilmore himself is concerned, 29-year-old led the league with six interceptions and 20 pass deflections. He also posted 53 tackles and one fumble recovery. That’s not even including the fact that he played the most snaps on the defensive side of the ball for the Patriots.

Gilmore was so confident that he’d win the award that he predicted it. He stated the following back in December before the season even came to a close.

“My play speaks for itself. If you really watch the tape, each and every game, there’s no question,” Gilmore said.

The veteran cornerback was named on 21 of the 50 ballots. Other players receiving votes included the Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Jones (14 votes) along with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ T.J. Watt (10 votes).

Gilmore becomes just the sixth defensive back in NFL history to win the award.