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Patriots know they need to stop LT, Greene

LaDainian Tomlinson runs the ball in the first

LaDainian Tomlinson runs the ball in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts during their AFC wild card playoff game. (Jan. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Besides threatening to punch out folks who don’t respect his coach, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork will play a crucial role in Sunday’s game against the Jets. Anyone who saw the game on Saturday – or just watched the second half – knows that when the Jets committed to running the ball powerfully against the Colts and controlling the clock as well as the line of scrimmage, the tenor of the game changed.

Wilfork said that the Patriots recognize how dangerous the Jets’ running game is, and it starts with LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.

“You’re talking about two powerful runners,” Wilfork said in his WEEI interview. “LT can do it all, can catch it out of the backfield, at times he blocks, a great screen guy. He’s put together very, very well as a running back. With Greene coming in, he’s a powerful runner. A young guy, very explosive. He’s hard to bring down, because he’s so tough and low gravity and he runs with power.”

Of course, Wilfork is familiar with the Jets’ offensive line and Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold.

“The offensive line is just big and physical,” he said. “They can get away with a lot of guys being single-blocked because they have the faith and confidence in their offensive line being able to go out there and block head up, getting a hat on a hat and moving power. Up front, we’re going to have to do a real good job. Because if they get a running game going and we can’t slow them down, it will be a long day for us.”
 

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