Dont'a Hightower nicknames Patriots defense "The Boogeymen"

Mark Roemer/AP

The New England Patriots' defense is terrifyingly good.

Through five games this season, Bill Belichick's brick wall ranks No. 2 against the run and the pass and averages 6.8 points allowed per game. If you told me two years ago that a unit that features a lot of the same players that couldn't get off the field in Super Bowl LII would do the kinds of things they're doing right now, I'd probably pass out from laughing so hard. 

So what's missing? 

A nickname! 

And in the spirit of Halloween, Dont'a Hightower came up with the perfect nickname for the defense: The Boogeymen. 

“We’re the boogeyman, man,” Hightower said Sunday about the Patriots’ linebacker corps. “We’re the boogeymen.”

“We want to go out there, and we want to be the engine and the starting force of the defense,” Hightower said. “We know that if we go out there and we play well, then that will hype every other spot whether that’s in the front seven or the back seven. Not even if it’s a linebacker, whether it’s Dev (Devin McCourty) with a pick or JMac (Jason McCourty) with a pick or Du (Duron Harmon) with a pick. We feed off of each other.

“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.”

Make fun of New England's schedule all you want, but the defense's performance through these first five games is not an accident. It will be interesting to see how they fare against teams with better offenses like Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City, etc.

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