The New England Patriots are off to a great start in 2019. They have a 5-0 record and they're having a historic season on the defensive side of the ball.

So far through five games, the team has only allowed 31 total points and most recently held the Washington Redskins to 7 in their 33-7 victory on Sunday. And after the game, Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower had some praise for his defensive teammates and gave the linebacker corps a new nickname.

“We’re the boogeyman, man,” Hightower said per NESN's Doug Kyed. “We’re the boogeymen.”

This is a fitting moniker. The Patriots' linebackers are striking fear into the league as Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Kyle Van Noy have all put together terrific seasons so far. They have been key in helping the defense to succeed and the goal to "be the engine" of the defense has been one of their driving motivations this season.

“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.”

Regarding that mission, so far, so good. The team already has a whopping 11 interceptions this season, far and away the most in the NFL, and they picked up another six sacks and a fumble recovery against the Redskins on Sunday.

Needless to say, they have made a major impact for the Patriots so far this season.

The Patriots defense will get a chance to continue at their ridiculous pace on Thursday night when they take on the New York Giants.

Curran's Takeaways: Patriots defense keeping its date with destiny>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.