Wilfork: Flacco always plays well vs. Pats

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
12:50
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Joe Flacco isn’t viewed by many as a top-tier NFL quarterback, but don’t tell that to Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.

[+] EnlargeVince Wilfork
AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
“He’s a great quarterback, I don’t care what nobody says about him. He seems to always have a good game against us,” Wilfork said Tuesday of Flacco, who has a 2-3 career record against the Patriots, having completed 108 of 167 passes for 1,271 yards, 9 touchdowns and four interceptions.

What impresses Wilfork the most is how unflappable Flacco can be in the face of pressure.

“One thing he does is stay poised, no matter how bad things get or how good things are,” he said. “He’s a tough quarterback. He’s a competitor and it shows. He’s putting his team in some good situations, not turning the ball over much [and] when they ask him to make the plays, he makes them.

“He is a very, very tough -- physically and mentally -- football player. No matter how bad it gets, he seems to block everything out and plays football. It showed last week against Denver. Big arm. Throughout the course of the game, it wasn’t perfect, but he made the throw and they made the catch for him. It says a lot about that football team. He’s definitely one of the tougher quarterbacks in this league. He has a big heart and he plays to win.”

In the Sept. 23 game in which the Patriots lost to the Ravens 31-30, Flacco was 28 of 39 for 382 yards (third most of his career), with three touchdowns and one interception.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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