In light of Raiders Week, the Patriots reminded fans about DT Vince Wilfork’s awesome interception against them back in 2011.
Even winning-obsessed head coach Bill Belichick had to be feeling optimistic following the Patriots’ loss to Seattle on Sunday night. Of course, quarterback Cam Newton was stuffed at the goal line with a chance to win the game with a touchdown on the final play of regulation, but the vibes have largely been positive all week long..
So long as the defense gets tightened up and more balance is added to the running game, this team will have a great chance at winning the AFC East and competing with the top dogs of the conference. A win against the Raiders in Week 3 would obviously go a long way in proving that, but that won’t come easy, as they are riding high after toppling New Orleans in the official debut of the luxurious Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
It goes without saying that the Patriots and Raiders share a long history, as a number of their respective matchups have come right down to the wire. Look no further than the highly polarizing 2001 AFC Divisional Round clash.
However, the Patriots official Twitter account went with an overlooked highlight to celebrate the big week. For any fans in New England struggling to make it to the weekend, we highly suggest playing this iconic Vince Wilfork interception and elegant return from the 2011 season on loop.
Who could forget that one? Wilfork was obviously one of the greatest interior defensive linemen of his generation, but his overall football intelligence didn’t get recognized nearly as much as it should have.
On a play in which he was unable to create pressure, he sneakily dropped back in coverage and picked off Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell’s intended check down pass to running back Darren McFadden seemingly out of nowhere. The interception put the exclamation point on a convincing 31-19 Patriots victory over Oakland, as it came during a surgical Raiders drive in the fourth quarter.
Most fans taking in the action probably expected Wilfork to go down and celebrate the INT with his teammates, but the five-time Pro Bowler had something else entirely in mind: Getting the Patriots offense into better field position. The 6-foot-2, 325-pound behemoth rumbled to a 19-yard return, bouncing off a handful of would-be tacklers before he was finally wrestled to the turf.
We’re still annoyed he wasn’t able to waltz his way into the end zone, but the oxygen tank probably would’ve had to make an appearance, and nobody wants that. Either way, this electric highlight just got us so much more amped for Sunday’s showdown against Las Vegas.
If that doesn’t further confirm Wilfork’s status as a Patriots legend, then nothing will.