Wilfork says offense got 'left out to dry'

Wilfork says offense got 'left out to dry'
September 24, 2012, 6:47 am
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BALTIMORE, MD -- There's already much ado about the officiating in New England's Sunday night loss. But a poor job done by replacement refs -- on both sides of the ball -- is not the reason the Patriots lost 31-30 in Baltimore.
"We really couldn't get off the field," Vince Wilfork said after the game. "Offense played their tails off and we just left them out to dry. We can't do that."
No kidding.
The Patriots entered their Week 3 matchup with the No. 2 ranked defense in the league. Really. Where the Ravens and New England met on offense -- 522 net passing yards to 525; 74 passes attempted to 77; five sacks, one interception, and three touchdowns each -- it was on defense they split.
With the advantage to New England.
The Patriots had surrendered 529 yards through two games compared to 808 by Baltimore's defense. All the more reason why Sunday's numbers are startling: The Ravens had 503 total net yards of offense.
Yes, there were a couple of questionable defensive holding calls in the fourth quarter. But both were on second downs and cost just 5-yards apiece. Throw in any other bad flag you want and it still won't negate the fact that just five of Baltimore's 28 first downs were won by penalty.
"Can't too much dwell on flags and stuff; we have to play better, plain and simple," said Wilfork. "We have to play better. We have to help our offense and we didn't do that. Going forward I think we have to play together as a team. But the offense played their tails off. They've gotten better so we have to have to come out next week and help them get a win."
New England's offensive effort was valiant: 396 total yards and 33 first downs of its own; three touchdowns on two rushing, one passing; 83-percent red zone efficiency (5-for-6); 28-for-41 passing and a 101.2 quarterback rating from Tom Brady.
All for naught. The defense regressed; the Patriots lost.
"We have to take it and move on. We've got to get better from this. We will get better," Wilfork promised. "It's tough because we thought I mean, we had a pretty good idea how we wanted to play and it didn't work out for us."
The team will look to bounce back next weekend in Buffalo.
Question is, which defense will show up? The run-stuffing, turnover-causing, youth-infused 'D' from Weeks 1 and 2? Or last year's yardage-hemorrhaging squad with just a minor facelift?
It's trial by fire, now.