Brandon Meriweather‘s ugly second-quarter hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap cost the Patriots 15 yards.
It may also cost the defensive back a good chunk of change as the high hit will likely result in a fine from the NFL office.
But according to one member of the Pats’ defense, it was just one physical play in an entire day of smash-mouth football.
“It was a very physical game,” defensive lineman Vince Wilfork told WEEI on Monday. “I think that’s probably one of the most physical games I’ve ever been in. We knew what Baltimore was going to come in and do. We knew our game plan. We knew they weren’t going to back down, and we weren’t going to back down. It was from whistle to whistle.
“They wanted to be physical,” he added. “They wanted to run the ball. And you know what? We answered the call. We knew that they wanted to do that. And don’t forget, we’re built the same way. We’ve been around here for a long time, too. We’re built to stop the run. We’re big and we’re physical. That’s one thing we said: ‘We have to play up to our potential.’ And I think [Sunday] we did.”
While Meriweather will likely get a bill from Roger Goodell, the play did spark the Pats’ defense.
“I just think at that time, it was like, ‘Wow, somebody’s out here trying to be play some football and trying to be physical,'” he said. “Yes, it’s a penalty. But at the same time, something happened in that play. After that, I think after that everybody was, like, in tuned. We were in tuned. That was one thing I saw happened after that play.
“Like I said, I didn’t wish anything on anyone on anything like that there,” added Wilfork. “The last thing I want to see is guys get hurt — and the penalty, a 15-yarder for Meriweather. But it was like after that play, it was like, ‘OK, let’s play some football.’ We started rolling from that … Whatever it was, it worked. I hope it wasn’t the 15-yard penalty that got us riled up or got us going. But whatever it did, we were ready to play.”
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