Key Moment: Vince Wilfork takes command with an interception
|09.18.11 at 8:12 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Down 17-7 with 19 seconds left in the first half, the Chargers were at the New England 19-yard line, driving for a touchdown that could pull them to within three as the second quarter came to a close. Operating out of the shotgun, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers dropped back to pass and tried to shoot one right for running back Mike Tolbert, who was a threat all afternoon in the passing game (he finished with 73 yards receiving in eight catches).
But the pass was tipped up in the air by Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who gathered the ball in and went rumbling down the San Diego sideline, all the way to the Chargers 29-yard line. Three plays later, Stephen Gostkowski banged home a 47-yard field goal to make it 20-7 at the half.
“I’m a cover two guy,” joked Wilfork after the game when talking about his style as a defensive back. “I like to come up and get my hands on the receiver. I’m physical at the line of scrimmage. I can’t play off (the line) — I have to be in someone’s face. … That’s where I make my living.”
“Vince is a tremendous athlete. People don’t realize that,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of Wilfork. “He can throw it, catch it, return punts. He’s a terrific athlete.”
“Vince runs with the wide receivers,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said with a laugh. “Vince is a great athlete. He’s always been a great athlete. He ran the ball pretty well today.”