The New England Patriots have had a few standouts through their first nine games of the 2019 season.

Jamie Collins has been nothing short of spectacular thus far in his second stint in New England, while Julian Edelman is on pace for a career season. The guy who wears No. 12 for the Patriots has been pretty good, too.

That said, it’s tough to argue with ESPN’s pick for New England’s first-half MVP, who might just be the best defensive back in all of football: Stephon Gilmore.

“The All-Pro cornerback has been arguably the best player on the Patriots’ best unit through the first half of the season,” Mike Reiss wrote. “Gilmore’s ability to match up with a wide variety of pass-catchers provides valuable flexibility to the coaching staff, which has preferred more man coverage. He has three interceptions and a team-high 10 passes defended this season.”

Gilmore will have his work cut out for him in the second half of the campaign. The two-time Pro Bowl selection will be tasked with helping to slow down some of the league’s best wideouts in Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill and A.J. Green.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports