By: Ian Logue
It’s not often you see a 300+ pound defensive tackle among the league leaders in interceptions.
Vince Wilfork snagged another pick on Sunday, reading Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell’s eyes perfectly and stepping in front of another pass in the fourth quarter and picking him off for his second interception in two weeks.
Vince Wilfork was all smiles once again after Sunday’s game following his second interception of the season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
The play happened so fast Wilfork really doesn’t even know exactly how he did it.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what I did… to be honest with you,” said Wilfork after the game. “So I have to go back and watch the play. One thing you know, a lot of quarterbacks, when it comes to the passing game they want to go deep, and then try to come back to their security – and that’s their checkdowns, or a [crossing route], or whatever it may be. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
That was the story two weeks ago against the Chargers, when he made his first interception of the season after reading a screen pass and plucking the ball out of the air. Head coach Bill Belichick reiterated Sunday what he said after that game against San Diego. Big Vince has great hands, and that if the ball gets near him, he’s going to get it.
“Vince has got great hands,” said Belichick. “People don’t realize that because he’s not a skill player, but he can catch the ball, and catch punts and everything else. So when he gets his hands on it he’s a vacuum cleaner – he sucks it right in there. But that was a big play for us and great awareness on Vince’s part.”
One thing’s for certain, when Wilfork has the ball, he’s a tough guy to take down. He initially picked the ball off at his own 30, and was initially hit at the 38 by Darren McFadden, before dragging him all the way to the Raiders 49 after the Raiders runningback got some additional help – which required two additional guys to take him down.
“He’s very hard to bring down, I know that,” said Belichick. “You’ve got to gang tackle him.”
After the play Wilfork finds himself in the unusual spot of being among the interception leaders of not only his team, but also the league.
Currently leading the league in interceptions (along with three others) is Kyle Arrington, who has three on the season. From there Wilfork is tied with 19 other players with two picks, leading even the likes of Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha. From there it’s just Sergio Brown and Patrick Chung – who made his first pick of the year on Sunday – who join Wilfork and Arrington with one each.
At the end of the day unlike Wes Welker’s performance last week that he wasn’t able to enjoy because of the way that one turned out, Wilfork said after a good week of practice, his team went out and did what they needed to do. As a result, he couldn’t be happier.
“Most important thing is we got the ‘W’ – it wouldn’t have meant anything if we wouldn’t have gotten the ‘W’. I think it was a good team win. I think this whole week we challenged eachother. I think Bill challenged us, and we challenged eachother. I mean, we were very competitive in practice. This was like one of the best week’s of practice that we had, not a lot of mental errors in practice.”
“We had a good week of preparation, and it showed. We went out and played ball.”