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Stephon Gilmore is the best defensive back in the NFL right now. Hes the obvious choice for Defensive Player of the Year. Today on the Countdown, we’re gonna break down exactly why he has dominated wide receivers this season.
Playing cornerback in the NFL is probably the second toughest job in the league. Every rule is designed to give wide receivers and the offense an advantage.
Why is all of this important? Well it just goes to show what Stephon Gilmore has done this year is nothing short of dominate.
In 2019 Gilmore has been targeted 52 times in man coverage and has only allowed 24 catches. That’s a quarterback rating of 20.59. To further expound on that stat, in zone coverage hes held opposing quarterbacks to a rating of 31.97, as hes been targeted 23 times, with 12 receptions given up for 125 yards and still no touchdowns. (Editors note: He got beat today)
Per Pro Football Focus, Stephon Gilmore has allowed an NFL passer rating of 32.8 on throws into his coverage this season. The NFL passer rating for throwing the ball away on every play is 39.6. Meaning, opposing quarterbacks have a better shot of throwing the ball away on the opposite side of the field, because its going the other way if you throw it in Gilmores direction.
He’s also been a shutdown corner. In 14 games this season, he has not allowed one, 100 yard receiveing game. In some of the big time matchups against the opposing teams primary targets, he’s been a one man prison.
Against Ju Ju Smith Schuster he was targeted 6 times, with 5 catches allowed for 52 yards
Against Odell Beckham, he was thrown at 8 times, with 6 catches, for 73 yards
And against DeAndre Hopkins, he was targeted 7 times, with 4 catches. For 47 yards
We wont even talk about what he did to Amari Cooper. That boy was in HELL.
So why is he so good?
Gilmore is a physical defensive back who wins early in his routes with receivers. He gets hands on to disrupt the timing of the routes, and he plays through the receiver to the ball. He has good hand placement and even better footwork.
To play man coverage, you have to have good hips, and good ball skills. Gilmore has both, and he’s a playmaker. If the ball is in the air, hes coming down with it.
He also has a high football IQ. Look at how he defends this slant route here, He plays his leverage well. He knows that he’s not getting an outside breaking route from the alignment of the receiver, so he sits and waits for him on the slant, knowing that a fade would be nearly impossible to complete.
We know how great a season TJ Watt and Tredavious White are having, but the unanimous decision has to be Stephon Gilmore for Defensive Player of the Year.
The Defensive Player of the year award has gone to a defensive back 10 times, with five cornerbacks winning, and five safteies winning. This year, the cornerbacks grab there 6th, so that only means one thing. We get a new addition to this glorious quote from Primetime.
Water covers two thirds of the earth and Stephon Gilmore covers the rest.