Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork is a man who always speaks his mind. On Thursday, he spoke his mind about the 11-1 Houston Texans, the team he and the 9-3 Patriots will be battling Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
"They're the best team in the NFL," Wilfork said without hesitation. "They're the best team for a reason. They do a lot of things well. They've been in some blowouts, they've been in some tough games, they've been in some overtime [games]. This [is] a team that has played through it all. And they seem to rally around one another, and that's the sign of a great team. They definitely have what it takes to be a champion. You have to respect that."
One thing Wilfork and the Patriots defensive line will have to respect and solve is the zone blocking scheme of their offensive line, a complicated scheme that mirrors what the Broncos did with Terrell Davis in the late 1990s.
"They cut, they don't cut, they man block, they double," Wilfork said. "They keep it moving. They definitely keep it moving. I think you really can't get a beat on when they are running the zone, when they are running the ball and when they are the passing the ball because they do a good job up front of showing you the same look on run and pass."
The Patriots will have to find a way to contain yet another great running back in Arian Foster, a ball carrier who leads the NFL in touchdowns with 13, four more than Patriots running back Stevan Ridley.
"We're just going to have to rely on technique, good fundamentals, play what we see," Wilfork said. "Games like this always come back to playing good technique. I think that's what we have to do this week, is get back to playing good technique and good fundamentals, especially against this team. Hopefully that'll be good enough."