September 29, 2016

PD Game Ball – DL Vince Wilfork

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Sure, Tom Brady passed for 332 yards while finding five different receivers. One receiver, Randy Moss, had 147 yards on six catches. But this week’s exclusive PD Game Ball goes to a defender who made the biggest impact in every way.

vince-wilforkA quick look at the stat line shows Vince Wilfork getting three tackles vs. the Dolphins. A quick look at Sunday’s game shows him doing so much more.

Wilfork, listed at 6-foot-2, 325 pounds (and several picnics heavier than that), shifted from defensive tackle to end and back throughout the day, shutting down the middle or the edge in a Herculean effort that no statistic could justify. The only time Vince got pushed back was during a Dolphin triple-team, when the guard, center and behemoth tight end Joey Haynos collaborated to move him (hard to resist the bad pun of a Wil-forklift).

Had he manned the outside edge on QB Pat White’s 33-yard run in the second quarter, we have no doubt that Wilfork would have put an end (so to speak) to the Wildcat foolishness. Instead, Tully Banta-Cain burst upfield to take pitch responsibility, allowing White to run off-tackle and into the free range of Patriot territory.

With a few adjustments, New England answered the Wildcat call. No one had more to do with their success than Wilfork, recipient of this week’s PD Game Ball.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]

Comments

  1. Can we give an honorable mention to Laurence Maroney? I know the stats didn’t show it, but he obviously changed his running style and lowered his shoulder on more than one occasion. Great awareness when he played to the whistle and picked up ~10 yards. It was a little thing, but what we’ve all be crying out for, all these years.

    Cheers

    • Chris Warner says:

      David, although (or perhaps because) I have been an occasional Maroney basher, I grant your request:

      Laurence, kindly accept this week’s Honorable Mention PD Game Ball.

      Now please, for the love of all that is decent and good, keep it up.

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