Patriots prepare for Redskins rushing attack

Patriots prepare for Redskins rushing attack
December 8, 2011, 7:16 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Washington Redskins are the second-worst rushing team in the NFL. But Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork isn't taking that statistic lightly.

In fact, he believes that New England's defensive strategy on Sunday in Washington will be heavily focused on stopping the Redskins' rushing attack.

"This team runs the ball pretty good," said Wilfork on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. "Shanahan has success everywhere he's been, with his offense running the ball. We know that. It's not going to change. It starts with the running game. We can't be in 3rd-and-2 and 3rd-and-3 all game, or we're going to have a long, long night. So we've got to be able to buckle up on first and second down, and be able to get them in long yardage situations.

"It's going to start up front. It's definitely going to start up front with us. If we don't play well, it'll be a long day."

While the Redskins are only 4-8, Wilfork admitted that it's not easy to prepare for a team they rarely play.

"It's challenging," said Wilfork. "When you don't see a team, you're not familiar as you are with a divisional team or a team you face every year. So, we have our work cut out."

At least, he thinks he knows what to expect.

"Shanahan, he's old school," said Wilfork. "You look at the film, they're physical. And one way you can gauge a team and how tough they are, is, can they run the football? And they run the ball, they run the ball.

"It's a big challenge for us, defensively, but, as a defensive player, you have to live for these games. One of these games where there won't be much trickery and you won't do a lot of guessing, knowing what a team wants to do.

And according to Wilfork, the Redskins will want to run the football against them on Sunday.