Socci: Absence Of Wilfork, Presence Of Atkins Both Major Influences For Patriots On Sunday

October 4, 2013 11:00 AM
Socci: Absence Of Wilfork, Presence Of Atkins Both Major Influences For Patriots On Sunday
" BOSTON (CBS) — Early Wednesday, whether spoken from Bill Belichick behind a Gillette Stadium podium or his counterpart Marvin Lewis on a conference call from Cincinnati, two large topics of conversation were a pair of very big defensive tackles.

One is a veteran leader by example and in voice, a five-time Pro Bowler and six-year co-captain. The other is seven years younger and in just his fourth season, already with two Pro Bowl selections to his name. And this weekend, if the New England Patriots are to beat the Bengals on the road, they’ll have to overcome the absence of the former and presence of the latter.

While New England’s defense will play without Vince Wilfork, who tore his right Achilles tendon last Sunday in Atlanta, Cincinnati’s will be led by Geno Atkins.

“We’re all going to have to pull that rope,” Belichick said of Patriots’ plans to offset the loss of the 325-plus-pound Wilfork, who’s missed only six games since joining the team in 2004. “It’s a big loss, but we’re just going to have to find a way to do it. That means everybody doing their job "

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