New England Patriots

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore (Photos: Billie Weiss/Getty Images; Brad Penner/USA Today)

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore (Photos: Billie Weiss/Getty Images; Brad Penner/USA Today)

As first reported by Jeff Howe of The Athletic, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have both been named to the initial AFC roster for the 2019 Pro Bowl. The Patriots later confirmed the news.

Brady’s nod will be his 10th and a row and ties the NFL record with quarterback Peyton Manning, tight end Tony Gonzalez, and offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. Gilmore earns his second career Pro Bowl selection and first with New England.

Through 14 games, Brady sits third in the AFC with 3,979 passing yards, behind only the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (4,543) and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (4,462). He’s fifth in the conference with 24 passing touchdowns and a 97.6 passer rating.

Gilmore, meanwhile, has played like one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL for the majority of the season. He leads the AFC with 18 passes defensed, and is second in the league only to the Bears’ Kyle Fuller (21). Pro Football Focus ranks Gilmore as the No. 1 cornerback overall entering Week 16, with a 90.2 overall grade.

Based on coverage stats compiled by Jeff Howe, Gilmore has allowed just a 65.1 passer rating through 14 games (34-of-78, 380 yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions). He allowed just two catches for eight yards to Antonio Brown when covering the Steelers’ All-Pro receiver in Sunday’s 17-10 loss.

Pro Bowlers Brady and Gilmore will look to clinch the AFC East on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium, in the hopes of each happily canceling their appearances in the game due to the team making its fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons. Ultimately, the honor is more about the distinction than actually playing in the game. Brady hasn’t played in the Pro Bowl since 2005.

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