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Patriots' Stephon Gilmore Says 'No Question' He's Defensive Player of the Year

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 15: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots leaves the field after the Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 in the game at Paul Brown Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

A cornerback hasn't won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in a decade and has only done so five times since the honor was introduced in 1971.

Stephon Gilmore is looking to buck the trend.

The New England Patriots corner said there is "no question" he should be named the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year in an interview with Zolak & Bertrand of 98.5 The Sports Hub.

"My play speaks for itself. If you really watch the tape, each and every game, there's no question," Gilmore said Wednesday.

Zolak & Bertrand @ZoandBertrand

We asked Stephon Gilmore if he was Defensive POY: "my play speaks for itself......no question" https://t.co/VaUxFRAzoL

            

Gilmore, 29, has recorded 44 tackles, six interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 2019. He's widely viewed as one of the favorites for DPOY and the best player on a New England defense that's allowed opposing quarterbacks to put up an NFL-low 57.4 passer rating.

Other contenders for the award include Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Watt has compiled 45 tackles, 13 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions while leading the Steelers into playoff contention despite having one of the NFL's worst offenses.

Donald remains one of the league's most dominant forces. But his numbers are down compared to last season, and the Rams are essentially eliminated from the playoffs. He's also likely going to be a victim of voter fatigue.

Gilmore would be the first corner to win the DPOY since Charles Woodson in 2009.