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At end or nose, Wilfork anchoring Pats' run defense

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Dec. 25, 2010 @ 12:35 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

With all the youth on a Patriots defense that will likely go down as the lowest-ranked "D" in Bill Belichick's era, veteran NT Vince Wilfork's impact had gotten lost in the shuffle until a solid outing in the Week 15 game against the Packers. Belichick estimated the 6-2, 325-pounder played 74 snaps on defense. Wilfork has 50 tackles, five for loss, and a pass defensed this season. His penetration has made the Patriots the league's best against runs up the gut, as they allow a league-low 3.21 yards per rush up the middle. Wilfork frequently occupies two offensive linemen and helps make up for the injuries on his unit by playing left end when needed. "It's very fun, but at the same time challenging. ... Bill (Belichick) has confidence in me going out and playing it," Wilfork said. Wilfork, who is signed through 2014, is anchoring a solid run defense in what might be his quietest yet most impactful season.

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