Vince Wilfork: ‘The offense is allowed to have a bad game here and there’
|12.02.12 at 10:11 pm ET|
Coming in to Sunday’s game in South Florida, Vince Wilfork was well aware that the Patriots led the NFL in scoring coming in at 37 points per game. He was also well aware that as great as the offense is, Tom Brady won’t be able to put up video game numbers every single game. Eventually, the defense will need to carry the day.
On Sunday, the defense, specifically the defensive line, contained Reggie Bush and pressure Ryan Tannehill, limiting them to 16 points and just one touchdown.
Brady was relatively pedestrian on Sunday, connecting on just 24-of-40 passes, one touchdown, one interception and a 74.8 rating. The offense could only muster 11 yards on seven carries in the first half. But the defense forced three fumbles, recovered one and held the fort.
‘It’s good, especially when the offense struggled, it’s a chance for us to showcase how special we are on defense,” Wilfork said. “We went out there, we didn’t give up a lot of points today. We had some three-and-outs, made some plays. The offense is allowed to have a bad game here and there. They’ve done so much for us. The one thing we want to do around here is always play as a team. The three units, the special teams, offense and defense, if one is slacking the other two help pull them up.
“When you have two and three slacking, that’s when you get problems. But today, the offense got it together, they started running the ball more. And as a defense, I love to see my offense run the football because I know we have great running backs and we have great blockers. We face those guys all the time in practice and when we started running the ball, I was excited to see from my end so I was kind of pumped up on the sideline.’
Wilfork said they knew the Dolphins, ranked seventh in the league against the run, would make life difficult.
‘Absolutely, we knew this team was going to be tough,” Wilfork said. “This team is 5-6 but they shouldn’t be. We knew we’d have our hands full’¦ and they’d come out fighting. Everything they gave us, we knew they were going to give us. We knew it was going to be pretty tough coming down here. So, I think everybody kept their composure, stayed poised through the ups and downs, never got too high or too low. We knew they’d make a run at some point, make some plays at some point. We just knew we had to counter that and just get back to playing good fundamental football if that happened.
‘I think we just stuck together, and in certain situations we played well, and it helped us a lot today.
‘You move on in stride. We know we accomplished something but in the grand scheme of things, we still have a long season to play. The upcoming week is going to be very tough with Houston. We know how important it is to get back on track and stay grounded, and push forward one game at a time, so that’s what we’re doing.’