Tag Archives: Ja’Whaun Bentley

Best Of Social Media: Stephon Gilmore Named NFL Defensive Player Of The Year

Robert Alvarez
February 3, 2020 at 1:32 pm ET

On Saturday night at the 9th Annual NFL Honors in Miami, cornerback Stephon Gilmore was named the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“It’s a great honor. It’s a blessing. It’s a lot of hard work,” Gilmore said. “Obviously, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates, but to be the first player in Patriots history to win Defensive Player of the Year, it’s a great honor.”

Check out some of the best sights and sounds shared over social media from the evening below, including reaction from Gilmore’s teammates and players around the league.

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D-P-O-Y

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https://twitter.com/GamecockFB/status/1223733726451888128?s=20

The New England Patriots Remember And Reflect Upon The Life Of Kobe Bryant

Robert Alvarez
January 27, 2020 at 1:01 pm ET

The sports world found itself in complete shock and sadness on Sunday when news broke that former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant passed away in a helicopter accident in Calabasas, California.

Bryant was traveling with his 13 year old daughter Gianna and seven other people to a youth basketball game when their helicopter crash landed on a hillside. There were no survivors.

Speaking with a reporter from KCBS at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last night, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft shared his perspective on Bryant’s passing.

“It makes us all realize how we can’t take anything for granted…Seeing his beautiful little beloved daughter, [who] is 13, and I know the pride he took in her. Here we are in Kobe’s home in the Staples Center. I had a chance to see him in one of his last games here and he was such a gentleman and great competitor.”

As word of the tragedy made its way around the country, the New England Patriots community shared reactionary posts of reflection and remembrance over social media for the basketball icon and all those lost on board.

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Heartbroken.

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https://twitter.com/Danny_Shelton55/status/1221525169421766656?s=20

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doesn’t feel real. RIP To The Legend

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There is nothing more common to the human experience than death. It touches everyone and everything on this planet. It…

Posted by Benjamin Watson on Sunday, January 26, 2020

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Best Of Social Media: The Patriots Ring In The New Year

Robert Alvarez
January 3, 2020 at 10:43 am ET

With the 2019 calendar year in the rear view mirror, the New England Patriots were on to 2020 over social media this week for New Years Day.

Check out some of the best social media postings shared by the team as they look ahead to the “new season” of playoff football that begins this Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans.

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2020, and still here. #LFG

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New year, new season…

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2020! God Got it.

A post shared by Ja’Whaun Bentley (@warriormentality) on

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https://www.instagram.com/p/B6w9M1xhi3A/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6yOcyrgOOT/

As an added bonus, Rob Gronkowski continues to live his best life in retirement, Lego Steve never had a chance in 2020.

Best Of Social Media: Week 15 Patriots vs Bengals

Robert Alvarez
December 18, 2019 at 9:56 am ET

The Patriots rolled into Cincinnati on Sunday looking to break their two game losing streak and prevent the first three game one since 2002.

Echoes of the 2014 “On to Cincinnati” rally cry were in the air leading up to the game as optimistic built for a December turnaround.

Check out all the best sights and sounds from social media as the game progressed from start to finish below.

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Game time. #LFG

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In the first quarter, the Patriots scored on their opening drive for the second consecutive week, as James White darted down the field for a 23 yard touchdown reception.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B6HettEpa-q/

The Bengals answered back when wide receiver Cethan Carter hauled in the tying score.

A Randy Bullock 34 yard field goal gave the Bengals a surprising 10-7 lead after a quarter.

In the second, a Nick Folk 40 yard field goal knotted the game at ten but the special teams unit provided another opportunity for points.

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Team work makes the dream work

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The fumbled punt lead to another Nick Folk field goal just before halftime to give the Patriots a 13-10 lead.

In the third quarter, the Patriots defense began to tighten up and dominate quarterback Andy Dalton and his offense.

Who else but cornerback Stephon Gilmore to get it going?

The pick turned into points.

Rookie wideout N’Keal Harry hauled in a seven yard pass from Tom Brady for his second (should be third) career touchdown.

20-10 New England.

A Stephon Gilmore 64 yard pick six on the ensuing Bengals drive broke the game open and pushed the Patriot lead to 27-10.

 

In the fourth quarter, a Randy Bullock 48 Yd Field Goal would be all the Bengals could muster for the remainder of the day.

A Rex Burkhead 33 yard touchdown run in his return to Cincinnati sealed the Patriots eleventh win of 2019 with a 34-13 victory and a playoff berth

FINAL 34-13 NE

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Coming home with a W. #OnToBuffalo

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My brother 🤞🏾

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let me tell my side…

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#Patswin

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WeNeedThat.

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Passionate.

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W.

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WARNING: NSFW, Language.

Patriots Week 15 Report Card, Back On Winning Track with 34-13 Win Over Cincy

Steve Balestrieri
December 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm ET

 Patriots Defense/Special Teams Key Big Win

The Patriots got back in the win column with a 34-13 win over the lowly and struggling Bengals, The win couldn’t have come at a better time, after dropping two in a row and three of their last five, the team needed this one to begin to try to build some momentum in the final few weeks of the season.

The offense continues to struggle but this week, the defense helped them out by getting four interceptions of Andy Dalton and giving the offense the benefits of short fields as well as a score on a pick-six. 

The win, the 11th of the season marks the 10th year in a row that the team has won 11 or more games. It also punched their ticket to the postseason. This sets up a huge game against the Buffalo Bills next week in Gillette for the division title. 

And with the all-important bye week that comes with the #2 seed still very much in doubt, the Patriots will need to win both of those games against Buffalo and Miami to end the regular season and let some players heal up a bit. 

So, check out our grades and we’ll take one more look at the game film before putting a bow on this week.

Quarterback: C

Tom Brady was facing one of the worst defenses in the NFL on Sunday, and he and the passing offense could muster just 15-29  for 128 yards with 2 TDs and 0 INTs. His elbow, which has been hurting for a while, was clearly bothering him. He sailed more than one pass well over his intended target. And he short-armed another to Sony Michel that was well behind him which cost the team a touchdown. 

The Patriots passing offense averaged just 4.4 yards per pass play. That is less than Sony Michel averaged on his 19 carries. Let that one sink in for a second. His pass protection was not good, getting pressured on about half of his dropbacks in the first half. And there are the drops, which usually come at the worst possible time. 

Brady really needs some rest which is why the bye week is so important, but there’ll be no rest this week with the Bills and their defense coming to town. 

Running Backs: B

The Patriots running game had their best game of the season, rushing for 177 yards on 30 carries before Brady had a couple of kneel-downs in victory formation. Granted the Bengals rush defense is awful, dead last in the league, but at least they made they look that way. Facing some other poor run defenses they haven’t been able to muster much. 

Sony Michel looked good, gaining 87 yards on 19 carries and showed good vision following his blocks and was able to drive through tackles and gain yards after contact. Rex Burkhead, right on time at the end of the season, chipped in 53 yards on 6 carries including a really nice 33-yard touchdown run. Burkhead ran straight ahead and burst through the line, dipped his shoulder and faked out the safety and had clear sailing into the end zone. 

James White had 13 yards on 3 carries. The team got N’Keal Harry involved on a couple of jet sweeps and the big rookie got 22 yards on two carries and two first downs. A much better day for the backs both in the running game and in the passing game. 

Wide Receivers: C-

The Patriots wide receivers almost rated an incomplete grade here. Julian Edelman tried to play through a myriad of issues and didn’t look anything like his normal self. He was laboring walking, never mind running but tried to gut through it like the professional and tough dude that he is. So it is of little surprise that he caught just two passes for nine yards on Sunday. 

Mohamad Sanu is also playing through an injury and he too isn’t moving anywhere near 100 percent. However, the 4th down drop was not injury-related and that is becoming a troubling trend for the Pats WR. He was targeted eight times and had just 2 catches for 13 yards.

N’Keal Harry had a pair of catches for 15 yards including a really nice 8-yard touchdown pass along the back of the end zone. His best play was wiped out due to a false start by Edelman. Harry beat the coverage down the right sideline and made a beautiful leaping catch that would have gone for 36 yards.

James White was the big recipient on Sunday, getting 3 catches for 49 yards including a nice 23-yard touchdown pass on a screen from Brady. Michel and Burkhead also chipped in as the backs combined for 6 catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. 

Tight Ends: C-

Matt LaCosse was targeted 3 times and had 3 catches for 22 yards, that’s it for the group… Yuck. He played about 50 snaps compared to just 34 for Ben Watson who wasn’t targeted and pretty invisible all day. The run blocking overall was better this week. LaCosse had a really nice block on Burkhead’s touchdown run. However, in pass protection LaCosse was victimized several times and gave up several QB hits

Offensive Line: B-

The offensive line play was a mixed bag on Sunday. While the team had a season-high number of yards rushing, the pass protection was not great as Tom Brady was pressured on about half of his pass plays in the first half. However, Isaiah Wynn looked much better this week. Joe Thuney was also very good and had an outstanding block that sprung White for his touchdown reception. Thuney got out in front of White and pancaked the in-the-box safety. 

Ted Karras returned to action and played in all 65 offensive snaps at center. Shaq Mason was looking more like himself, especially in the running game, albeit against the Bengals. Marcus Cannon both had a rough day. Mason injured an ankle which will require a close watch this week with the Bills coming into town.                     

 Defensive Line: B-

The defensive line had a rough day trying to contain Joe Mixon who rushed for 136 yards 25 carries. On the Bengals’ first few drives, they made it their intent to run the football and they just lined up and smashed it in there. The defensive line was getting pushed back a lot in the early going. 

Although they had issues with Mixon all game long, the defensive line keyed the big turning point in the game. On a 4th and 1 from the Patriots 30-yard line, they stuffed the run of Mixon getting him for about a half-yard loss. Danny Shelton had six tackles on the day With the only QB hit coming from Deatrich Wise, who made seven tackles and was very active. 

However, the pass rush? It seemed a half-step late, which is something we’re seeing more of in the second half of the season.

Linebackers: B-

The linebackers had some issues (among others on defense) with tackling in this game. Joe Mixon’s 29-yard run should have been a two-yard loss but Jamie Collins couldn’t wrap him up and he broke free. Collins was also so-so in coverage, although he did make a nice play and tipped a pass that appeared wide open. Kyle Van Noy and Dont’a Hightower had just five tackles between them, a quiet game for two who are normally near the top of the list. Most of the missed tackles were from the linebackers, which is a bit of an unpleasant surprise.

Ja’Whaun Bentley, however, had a big game using his size and downhill style as a run-thumper to perfection He led the team with eight tackles including 0.5 for a loss. Elandon Roberts gets high marks for playing 24 snaps on defense and 10 for being the fullback on offense.

Secondary: A

The Patriots secondary had a tremendous afternoon, allowing one touchdown an 8-yard pass play where Jonathan Jones fell down but scoring one on a 64-yard Stephon Gilmore pick-six. Gilmore and J.C. Jackson each had two interceptions and are #1 and #2 respectively in opposing QB rating when targeted. Opponents targeting Jackson have a 28.6 QBR while those targeting Gilmore have a QBR of 32.8. 

The Bengals had 6 receptions for 51 yards on 15 targets when targeting either Gilmore or Jackson on Sunday. They had four interceptions including a pick-six and two pass breakups in those plays. That is domination. Gilmore is just in a league of his own. And to think he got outvoted to the Pro Bowl by Marcus Peters? Child, please…

Overall, Andy Dalton was 17-31 for 151 yards with 1 TD and 4 INTs for a QB rating of 39.2 which is great defense, regardless of the opponent. Jonathan Jones was injured on Sunday and his injury is a big one to monitor this week. 

Special Teams: A-

The Special Teams came up with yet another big play made by the outstanding tandem of Matthew Slater and Justin Bethel. Slater as a gunner, flew down the field and jarred the ball loose on Alex Ericson when he tried to field a punt with perhaps far too little room. Bethel recovered and the Patriots took the lead right before the half. 

Nick Folk made all four extra points and two field goals in two attempts. He’s solidified the position. He doesn’t have the range to go for much over 50 yards but he’s playing well and with confidence, something we haven’t had this year. 

Coaches: B

The Patriots coaching staff, especially Josh McDaniels is working overtime, trying to breathe some life into the offense. And for the 2nd week in a row, he put together a drive that went 75 yards for a touchdown. Then the offense struggled to move the ball. 

The defense was getting gashed early (a troubling trend) but then shut down the Bengals holding them to just three points after allowing them to score 10 points in the first quarter. 

Bill Belichick and the staff always seem to make good adjustments to whatever the opponent is doing well and countering it.

So the Patriots last two regular-season games will be at Gillette Stadium.  Starting with the Buffalo Bills. A win gets the Patriots the division-clinching win. But unlike other years with a late-season game against the Bills, this one won’t be easy. 

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

 

Best Of Social Media: Week 12 Cowboys vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
November 26, 2019 at 9:25 am ET

For the first time in almost a month, the New England Patriots returned home to play football against the Dallas Cowboys.

Check out all the best sights and sounds from social media before, during, and after the game.

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Allow me to reintroduce myself… #LFG

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In the first quarter, the Patriots special teams unit continued their dominating season, exploiting the wet conditions of Foxboro.

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/1198723727137103872?s=20

The Patriots got on the board first when N’Keal Harry hauled in his first career NFL touchdown.

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You’re a wizard, Harry

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7-0 Patriots after one quarter of play.

In the second, the NFL’s best cornerback continued to dominate, hauling in his fourth interception of the season.

The turnover turned into a Nick Folk 44 yard field goal extending the lead to ten.

The Cowboys scored six unanswered just before the half courtesy of two Brett Maher field goals.

10-6 Patriots at the half.

The second half saw both teams struggle on offense, with neither finding the end zone.

Dallas tacked on two field goals but the Patriots would walk away with their tenth win of the season in a 13-9 victory.

FINAL – 13-9 NE

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W.

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Big Dubs‼️#LFG

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Best Of Social Media: Week 8 Patriots vs Browns

Robert Alvarez
October 31, 2019 at 8:40 pm ET

The Patriots entered Sunday’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday seeking to become the third team under Bill Belichick to start a season 8-0.

Check out all the best sights and sounds from social media as it happened below.

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It’s all clicking… #LFG

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Locked in.

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The Patriots jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter courtesy of the “boogeymen” defense, a squirrel, and the Cleveland Browns beating themselves.

 

 

https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1188562717780480000?s=20

 

In the second quarter, the Browns cut into the Patriots lead courtesy of a Baker Mayfield touchdown pass to Demetrius Harris.

A 17-7 New England lead was taken to halftime.

The Browns opened up the second half with a field goal to cut the deficit to 17-10 as the Patriots offense struggled to pull away.

A James White 59 yard run reignited the Patriots.

Tom Brady found Julian Edelman for a second time to push the lead back up to 24-10.

https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1188582989409579008?s=20

 

In the fourth quarter the Patriots defense shut down the Browns the remainder of the game.

A field goal by both sides concluded the scoring as the Patriots improved to 8-0 with a 27-13 victory.

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Football guy weather ⛈ #OnToBaltimore

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Great team win ‼️ #LFG

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☔️ ☔️☔️ 8-0

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W.

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Best Of Social Media: Week 6 Giants vs Patriots

Robert Alvarez
October 18, 2019 at 8:58 pm ET

The Patriots took on the New York Giants last Thursday at Gillette Stadium, check out all the best sights and sounds from social media as they aimed for their sixth win of 2019.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3ck3EagXn3/

https://twitter.com/JoeGiza/status/1182415751841550336?s=20

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After a sloppy start for the offense in the first quarter, it was the Patriots special teams unit that once again provided points.

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A 7-0 NE after one quarter courtesy of Brandon Bolden and Chase Winovich.

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In the second quarter, Brandon Bolden found the end zone for the third consecutive game.

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Leading 14-0, a few Patriots miscues and a little luck lead to a Giants comeback.

Golden Tate hauled in a 64 yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones to get the Giants on the board.

Markus Golden then recovered a Tom Brady fumble and returned the ball 42 yards to tie the game at 14 all.

Needing a rally, the Patriots responded with a Tom Brady rushing touchdown to regain the lead before halftime.

The Patriots would never again lose the lead on this night.

https://twitter.com/dominospor/status/1182474982401683456?s=20

Leading 21-14 at the half, the Patriots honored team Hall of Famer Rodney Harrison one final time.

The Patriots offense continued to sputter to open the second half, but the defense continued to keep the game close.

 

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/1182480864451665920?s=20

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The score remained 21-14 Patriots after three quarters.

With the offense unable to get much going, the defense made more big plays.

Kyle Van Noy returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown to push the Patriots lead back to 14 .

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With five minutes remaining, the offense put the game away when Tom Brady became the oldest quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in a game.

The Patriots would improve to 6-0 with a 35-14 victory.

https://twitter.com/Patriots/status/1182507348025335809?s=20

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You are who you choose to be… #OnToNY

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Simon Says….”Intercept the Ball”

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™️ #patsnation #LFG #EMBOLDEN#hulksmash

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W.

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Best Of Social Media: Week 5 Patriots vs Redskins

Robert Alvarez
October 9, 2019 at 11:34 pm ET

The New England Patriots traveled to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday looking for their fifth 5-0 start in franchise history.

Check out all the best sights and sounds from social media as it happened below.

In the first quarter the Patriots offense struggled early, and the Redskins kept the game surprisingly close.

The Patriots defense however, continued its strong start to 2019, a theme that would continue throughout the afternoon.

A Steven Sims Jr. 65 yard run gave the Redskins a 7-0 lead.

Like they have all year so far, the Patriots responded when Julian Edelman hauled in a six pass from Tom Brady but a Mike Nugent PAT failed.

7-6 Redskins after one quarter of play.

A Mike Nugent 37 yard field goal gave the Patriots their first lead of the game at 9-7 to open the second.

Although the Patriots defense settled in after Simms big touchdown, the offense remained in a funk, and had to settle for another Mike Nugent field Goal to push the lead to 12-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Patriots halftime adjustments took over as Brandon Bolden nabbed a 29 yard pass from Tom Brady to extend the lead to 19-7.

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After failing to gain traction in the first half, the Patriots running game came alive in the third as Sony Michel capped off another scoring drive.

26-7 New England through three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, the Patriots defense continued to stifle the Redskins offense and Tom Brady iced the win with a wide open touchdown pass to rookie Ryan Izzo.

https://twitter.com/patspulpit/status/1180931451933659143?s=20

The Patriots would leave Washington with a convincing 33-7 victory to move to 5-0 on the season.

The 2019 Patriots joined the 1974, 2004, 2007, 2015, and 2019 with 5-0 records.

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Calling All Pats Fans, Kyle Van Noy Needs Your Help Designing A Shirt For “The Boogeymen”

Robert Alvarez
at 1:00 pm ET

Are you a graphic designer and love the New England Patriots?

Well, Kyle Van Noy wants your help, and he has an enticing reward for a job well done.

On Twitter Tuesday, Van Noy fired off a few recruitment tweets seeking a shirt/sweatshirt design for “the boogeymen”, a nickname for the Patriots linebacker corps coined by Dont’a Hightower.

If you think you have what it takes to win over what currently stands as the NFL’s best linebackers, get to work and send your shirt designs over to Van Noy before the weekend.

Through five games the defense has 24 sacks and is on pace for 77, a mark that would break the NFL record of 72, set by the 1984 Chicago Bears.

For even more perspective, the Patriots had 30 sacks total in 2018 and the team record sits at 57 which was set in 1979.

The Patriots also have 11 interceptions to lead the NFL.

Hightower voiced his praise for the defenses record setting start following Sunday’s win.

“We compete. It’s a great group not just in the linebacker room but the defense, we all want to compete. … We’re trying to get more picks, more forced fumbles. It’s a great defense”

The “boogeymen” meanwhile, will look to add to the record setting defensive numbers on Thursday night against a banged up Giants team, and perhaps celebrate another victory in new shirts.