Even though the New England Patriots finished their season in disappointing fashion by getting eliminated from the playoffs on wild card weekend, the team’s season did feature some outstanding individual performances. Two of them are standing out among their peers, at least in the eyes of those voting the NFL’s all-league teams for the 2019 season: cornerback Stephon Gilmore and special teamer Matthew Slater.
Both were named to the Pro Bowl, made the Associated Press’ All-Pro squad as first-team selections — Gilmore being one of just two unanimous choices — earlier this month, and now also share first-team All-NFL distinction as bestowed upon them by the Pro Football Writers of America. It is not hard to see why Gilmore and Slater were picked considering just how well the two performed over the course of the 2019 season.
Gilmore was the NFL’s best cornerback throughout the year and a key reason why the Patriots’ defense finished the regular season as the number one scoring unit in the league. The 29-year-old, who regularly took on opposing number one wide receivers but still finished the season with only one touchdown surrendered compared to six interceptions, is also a realistic candidate to be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Slater, meanwhile, has also made the cut for the PFWA’s All-NFL team in 2019 after coming off arguably the best regular season of his illustrious career. The veteran registered not just 10 special teams tackles, he also forced one fumble, recovered another, blocked a punt and scored the first touchdown of his NFL career. Add it all up and you get why he has been named to the three different all-star teams this season.
PFWA All-NFL Team
QB Lamar Jackson (Baltimore Ravens), RB Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans), RB Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers), WR Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons), WR Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints), TE George Kittle (San Francisco 49ers), C Jason Kelce (Philadelphia Eagles), OG Quenton Nelson (Indianapolis Colts), OG Marshal Yanda (Baltimore Ravens), OT Ryan Ramczyk (New Orleans Saints), OT Ronnie Stanley (Baltimore Ravens)
DE Danielle Hunter (Minnesota Vikings), DE Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints), DT Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), DT Cameron Heyward (Pittsburgh Steelers), OLB Chandler Jones (Arizona Cardinals), OLB T.J. Watt (Pittsburgh Steelers), MLB Bobby Wagner (Seattle Seahawks), CB Stephon Gilmore (New England Patriots), CB Tre’Davious White (Buffalo Bills), S Jamal Adams (New York Jets), S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pittsburgh Steelers)
K Justin Tacker (Baltimore Ravens), P Brett Kern (Tennessee Titans), KR Cordarrelle Patterson (Chicago Bears), PR Deonte Harris (New Orleans Saints), ST Matthew Slater (New England Patriots)