December 21, 2012

Patriots' big man is best on a big stage

Vince Wilfork is one of the NFL's best nose tackles – especially when the pressure's on.

By MATTHEW CARROLL The Associated Press

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"The athletic ability he has and the size he has is very rare, and just his passion for the game," McDonald marveled. "Guys that have been around the league a long time like that and still have amazing passion and work as hard as he does, he's going to be successful."

The offensive line also is benefiting from his presence.

"Going up against a guy like that, rare athletic ability and size, the power he has, the quickness, it's definitely going to make you better," McDonald said.

Wilfork is a major reason the Patriots have forced a turnover in 25 straight games and lead the league in turnover differential at plus-22, seven more than second-ranked Houston.

"That's one of the things that we work very hard toward. And it's paying off for us this year," Wilfork said. "Hopefully we can continue to get our offense the ball. There's no other offense I would want to get the ball than inside (quarterback Tom Brady's) hands. The more we get our offense the opportunity with the ball, the better we'll be as a team, and we understand that.

"Our goal is to go out and create negative plays and create turnovers and give our offense the ball back."


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