One bright spot in this frustrating start to the Patriots’ season has been the play of New England’s first-round draft pick.

Cornerback Christian Gonzalez played every defensive snaps in each of the first two games of his young NFL career, helping the Patriots withstand a rash of injuries at the position.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, he had a sack and a fourth-down pass breakup. In Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium, he notched his first professional interception, leaping to pull down a deep ball intended for Tyreek Hill.

Head coach Bill Belichick called the turnover an “outstanding” play during his Monday morning radio hit.

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“Gonzo learns every day,” Belichick said on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.” “He’s a smart kid, really pays attention and tries to do what you ask him to do. It was really an outstanding interception that he had. …

“This was one where Gonzo went up and took the ball away from Hill, so it was a really good play. Not only a breakup, but made a good catch and hauled it in. But there were other coverage plays he had.”

Gonzalez was holding the ball from his interception when he spoke with reporters postgame. He credited safety Jabrill Peppers with putting him in the right position to capitalize on an underthrown pass from Tua Tagovailoa.

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Peppers and Gonzalez appeared to switch roles on the play, with the rookie lining up as a deep safety rather than his usual corner position.

“Pep made a good call,” Gonzalez said. “(I) trusted him, and then we just executed the play and made a play.”

The Patriots have needed to lean heavily on Gonzalez with position mates Jack Jones, Jonathan Jones and Marcus Jones all dealing with early-season injuries, and the 21-year-old has been up to the challenge. He’s held his own and limited big plays despite facing two of the NFL’s premier receiver tandems in Philly’s A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith and Miami’s Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Gonzalez frequently was matched up against Hill in Sunday’s loss, especially after Marcus Jones exited with a shoulder injury in the second quarter. The Dolphins star caught a touchdown against safety Kyle Dugger but finished with just five catches on nine targets for 40 yards — well below his usual All-Pro standards.

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“Obviously, he was going up against some of the best receivers in the league the last two weeks,” Belichick said of Gonzalez, “and those experiences will pay off for him down the road.”

Gonzalez was one of three Patriots defenders, along with Dugger and linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, to play 100% of snaps in Weeks 1 and 2. Peppers wasn’t far behind, playing 121 of 129 (93.8%).

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images