Vince Wilfork A Top Tackle On Run Stopping

Pro Football Focus loves statistics. Thursday morning the fellas put together a post ranking the 2011 performances of the NFL's interior defensive lineman. How did they determine what really makes a D-tackle stand out?

Run stop percentage.

The number describes how many times a guy caused "an offensive failure as a percentage of how many plays he is in on run defense, excluding plays nullified by penalty."

Don't worry, they did the math for you. And look who's in the top six: Vince Wilfork.

The Patriots tackle racked up 29 stops on 334 run snaps for an 8.7-percent efficiency rate. It's not a bad number, attesting to the fact Wilfork doesn't just devour blocks but can also make plays.

The AFC Championship comes to mind. With the Patriots up just three points in the fourth quarter and Baltimore driving, Wilfork stopped Ray Rice for a third-down, 3-yard loss to push the Ravens out of field goal range.  

Such is the point of PFF's examination. You like a tackle in the middle who can absorb double, and even triple-teams, but the guy who can also bother quarterbacks and stuff the run is invaluable.

Vince Wilfork can be that guy. Examining playoff performance compared to the regular season could make the evaluation more interesting.

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