Vince Wilfork: Don't look at stats, look at wins

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots may not statistically have one of the better defenses in the league, but defensive lineman Vince Wilfork isn’t one to put much stock into numbers.

“The important part is winning. We’re 9-2,” Wilfork said. “There’s a lot of teams who have pretty good defenses out there, but they don’t have the record to show it.

“People can say what they want to say about this team, about this defense, the people we have here. The one thing we’re trying to do here is win. Point blank. So if that calls for us to be the 32nd defense in the league, then that is what it is.”

The Patriots will face one of their bigger defensive tests of the season on Monday night, matching up against a Jets offense that was missing wide receiver Santonio Holmes in the teams’ Week 2 matchup.

“The Jets are a great football team. Not good, [but] great,” Wilfork said. “They probably have one of the top players at each position. It will be tough for us. But we’ll accept the challenge.

“We have our hands full. But we won’t back down from any challenges and hopefully we’ll come to play on Monday. If you’re a football fan, and you love the game, it doesn’t take you much to get jacked up for this game.”

In the end, Monday night’s game will have ramifications not only in terms of the division title, but also with playoff seeding and home field advantage.

“The one thing I know is football starts now. We have to be able to play good football in December and January,” Wilfork said. “That’s one thing we want to do -- come out and match their intensity. If we can’t do that, it’s going to be a long day for us.”

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