Last season was an accolade-filled campaign for Stephon Gilmore, who racked up Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors in addition to his first Super Bowl championship.

It looks like more hardware will be coming Gilmore’s way this season.

The star cornerback is a virtual lock for Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro honors for the second consecutive season, and the Patriots, at the very minimum, are in the mix for another Lombardi Trophy. But Gilmore, who’s in the midst of the best season of his eight-year NFL career, is a candidate for the league’s most prestigious individual honor for a defensive player, and one of his New England teammates believes “Gilly Lock” should sit atop the shortlist.

We can’t help but wonder what that bet was.

Gilmore strengthened his Defensive Player of the Year case Sunday when he corraled two interceptions (returning one for a touchdown) in the Patriots’ lopsided win over the Bengals. It was one of Gilmore’s strongest performances of the season, but don’t tell that to Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images