Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wilfork leads impressive showing by Patriots' 'D'


The New England Patriots' offense went off on the Houston Texans Monday night, but their defense was impressive, as well.

The Patriots held the Texans' usually high-powered offense to a 4-for-16 conversion rate on third and fourth downs and kept it completely out of the end zone until the game was well out of hand. New England's defense also recorded eight quarterback hits, seven tackles for losses and a pair of sacks.

A lot of credit should go to defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who, as usual, was so in control in the trenches. Wilfork recorded a sack, a tackle for a loss and even a pass defensed. But more importantly, the force he regularly produced up front set up others around him to make plays.

"Vince always does a good job in there," Patriots coach Bills Belichick said after the game, via Patriots.com. "He does a great job of taking care of his area and tackling, he’s physical and very instinctive.

"He does a good job but one guy can’t make the tackle if the other guys don’t do their job, I know that. So, you can be great on defense but if there are holes where the back is running, you’re not going to make many tackles so it’s about team defense. "

Devin McCourty intercepted Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the end zone in the first quarter. Rookie Donte Hightower and Jerod Mayo each hit Schaub twice, with Hightower recording two tackles for losses.

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