FOXBORO, Mass. — Vince Wilfork made some lasting memories during his 11 seasons with the New England Patriots.
But his first game back at Gillette Stadium was one he’d rather forget.
The Patriots pounded Wilfork’s Houston Texans on Thursday night, cruising to a 27-0 victory in rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett’s first NFL start.
“We came into Gillette Stadium and got smoked,” Wilfork told reporters after the game. “We’ve got to regroup. They played a hell of a game. We’ve got to put this one behind us and move forward quick. It was a real surprise. What can you do? You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They came ready to play and showed up, and we didn’t. We’ve got to get back to the drawing board.
“We’ve got Tennessee, a division game, coming up. So we’ve go to get our head screwed on right. We want to win every game. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen a lot, so you move forward. That is what we have to do now. Take this ride, look at the film, correct it and move forward.”
It was just the second regular-season shutout in Texans history and their first since 2003. Wilfork finished tied for second among Houston defenders with seven tackles in the loss.
“Any time you get skunked, it is embarrassing,” the veteran nose tackle told reporters. “You’ve got to take it personally. If you don’t, there is something wrong with you.”
The Patriots honored Wilfork, a Pro Bowler in five of his 11 seasons in New England, with a video tribute before the game.
“I had 11 great years here,” he told reporters. “The fans, my teammates, the coaches, it was awesome, and I love my memories here. It just goes to show the mutual respect they have for me. I feel the same way towards them. I love them. This was home. For 11 years, it was home. They drafted me. And for me to come back and show the respect they did, it shows what kind of organization they are.”
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images