The season ended in shock for the New England Patriots, as an AFC Wild Card exit to the surprising Tennessee TItans certainly wasn't what the scriptwriters had in mind just a few short months ago. That shouldn't sully an impressive list of individual accomplishments put forth by Bill Belichick's boys, however, and the most impressive among them became official Saturday.
Pats cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 2019.
The 29-year-old cover man earned his second straight Pro Bowl and First Team All-Pro nods this season, but this imminent DPOY honor will surely sit second only to last year's Super Bowl LIII title among his career accomplishments. The former South Carolina Gamecock set a career high with six interceptions in 2019, and tied last year's career mark of 20 passes defended.
For good measure, he scored two defensive touchdowns.
Gilmore and the Pats won't be overjoyed about watching Sunday's Super Bowl from the couch, but it's no small achievement to join the likes of Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, and Ray Lewis in the halls of defensive glory.