With their 41-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots clinched the AFC East Division for the sixth straight season and secured the Patriots at least one home game in the playoffs.
Rob Ninkovich, DE, Patriots, has played with the Patriots for all six of those division titles and has played a large role in shaping the mentality for the defense.
“A good football player competes on every play, tries to help his team wherever he can in whatever his role and opportunity is. That’s what good football players do,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick when asked about the mentality of unique players like Ninkovich. “Players that are competitive that want to help their team win, want to help their team win in every situation, not selectively.”
Not only is Ninkovich leading the entire NFL defensive linemen in percentage of snaps played this season, but he has also now recorded at least eight sacks in three consecutive seasons. A Patriots record that has stood since 1987 when accomplished by Hall of Famer, Andre Tippett.
The Patriots currently are the #2 seed in the AFC playoff race and will close out the season on the road against the New York Jets and then back home to end the regular season versus the Buffalo Bills.