Vince Wilfork is one of the few Patriots left from the team’s 2004 championship squad. He’s the highest paid player on the defense and its best player.
And he put together the trademark performance of his career Sunday against Baltimore.
Wilfork finished with six tackles, a sack, and a quarterback hit. That only tells part of the story. Three of his tackles came for a loss and all of them were huge plays in the game. He stopped drives in the first quarter and the fourth quarter.
Even when he didn’t get an official stat, Wilfork’s pressure up the middle often disrupted Joe Flacco. We can think of one play where Wilfork manhandled Ravens guard Ben Grubbs, forcing Flacco to move right into a sack by Mark Anderson.
The performance reminds us a little of Ty Law’s three interception game against Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship after the 2003 season. It was a Patriots defensive veteran putting together a signature game to get to the Super Bowl.
After a year where offense ruled in New England, players like Brandon Spikes, Sterling Moore, and James Ihedigbo all made huge plays to help the Patriots win Sunday.
Wilfork led the way.