Perhaps the most common question we receive here at PFF is: “why is Player X rated so low?”
These questions arise especially when a player’s reputation does not match up with his performance level as we’ve graded it and New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is the latest of the big names to be pulling in a poor grade this season.
So why is Wilfork rated as our third-worst defensive tackle at -9.7 for the season? I think there are a number of reasons including scheme, usage, and general decline in play. In New England, I know it’s nearly as taboo to criticize Wilfork as it is Tom Brady, but the on-field production has been lacking.
If you click the PFF at the top of the post, you can read their explanation for this. The first thought at PatriotsLife was Mike sending us out an email saying, "someone wanna rip these idiots?" Which, really, when someone calls Vince the third worst D-Tackle in the game, yeah, that's a normal response.
But, it got me thinking, has Vince been the same Vince this year? And I think that is a quite definitive N to the Izzo.
Now, do I think he has been the third worst D-Tackle this year? No. That is overstated. I don't truly trust numbers like this as they are so subjective.
So third worst? No.
The same Vince? Also a no.
The numbers held steady at about +12 for the last 4 years, and then this year they drop down to a negative 10. Even if there is something a little fishy about these numbers, there is no way that a giant drop-off like that can be completely ignored. He really just hasn't had the same type of effect he always has. Is it related to age? Is it too much playing time? I am not sure, but I wouldn't mind seeing Kyle Love in there a little more with Cunningham and give Vince a blow here and there.
Anyway, food for thought. Vince, not the same Vince? Pro Football Focus sucks balls? Or a combination of the two? I think it is probably that last one. As always, follow me @CultOfBelichick