Wilfork: This is a new Bills team

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Wilfork: This is a new Bills team

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn FOXBORO When you're a defensive lineman, opportunities to wrap your hands around the football are few and far between.

So it wouldn't be all that surprising if New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork was still basking in the afterglow of his momentum-swinging interception -- the first of his career -- in the Patriot's 35-21 win over San Diego last week.

Wilfork has been in the game long enough to know that last week's success means little now, especially with the Pat's next opponent -- the Buffalo Bills -- playing some of the best football in the NFL.

"This is a new Buffalo Bills team," Wilfork said on Thursday, shortly after announcing his partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center. "They're 2-0. Looking at them on film, they're making big plays after big plays. There's no smoke and mirrors with them. They're the real deal."

For the Pats to continue on their winning ways, they'll need yet another strong effort from Wilfork and the rest of the Patriots defensive line.

And while the unit has been strong after the first two games of the season, they know their past performances have no bearing on what will happen on Sunday afternoon in Buffalo.

But Buffalo, from a focus standpoint, might present a different kind of challenge for the Patriots when you consider New England has defeated the Bills 15 consecutive times.

"First and foremost, we always respect our opponents," said Pats defensive lineman Shaun Ellis. "It's a game. We have to go out there and play. They're definitely a different ball club."

Buffalo has one of the NFL's most electrifying offenses, with a 1-2 punch on the ground led by Fred Jackson (NFL-best 229 yards rushing this year) and the speedy C.J. Spiller.

"Those two together, make a good team, a good running attack," Wilfork said. "We have our hands full. It's going to be challenging for us once again. Every week so far, we've been challenged."

Adding to the potential distractions is the new-found attention Wilfork and his interception have received.

While Wilfork admitted he slowed down the video and looked at the interception "a couple times" when he saw it on Monday for the first time, he's focused totally on the Bills now.

"I know I can't live on that play forever," he said. "The last thing I can do is go out here Sunday and play the worst game of my career and everybody will turn to me and say, 'If you weren't thinking about the interception, you probably would have played better.' I have to turn the pages on that, after this."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener

Patriots to have joint practices with Jags Aug. 7-8 ahead of preseason opener


For the sixth season in a row, the Patriots will conduct joint practices with an opponent ahead of playing a preseason game. The team announced they'll work out with the Jacksonville Jaguars Aug. 7-8 at Gillette Stadium before playing the Jags in the preseason opener Aug. 10. 

The practices will be free and open to the public and will be held on the practice fields behind the Stadium.

The Patriots had joint practices with the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears last summer and previously had them with the Saints in 2015, the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, the Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 and the Saints and Bucs in 2012.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has talked about the value of these joint practices, has found it a good way to scout players they might eventually have an interest in and has reportedly been discussing conducting them with another preseason opponent, the Texans (Aug. 19 at Houston), coached by former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien.