by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
We all agree on this one, right?
Wes Welker sat out the first match-up between the Patriots and Jets. Rookie receiver Julian Edelman had a fine game (eight receptions, 98 yards), but New England failed to get into the end zone in a humbling 16-9 loss. Quarterback Tom Brady (September version) appeared out of synch that game, getting knocked around by New York blitzes and failing to connect with his receivers.
When we call football a team sport, we forget how much of a boost one player can provide. Welker’s performance on Sunday (15 catches, 192 yards) prevented Jets rushers from getting to Brady and gave the QB a killer option underneath Randy Moss, who was kept in check (five for 34) by cornerback Darrelle Revis, New York’s best defender.
When the Jets cheated on Welker as a short threat (yeah, yeah, we get it: short), he crossed them up with a deep seam route that brought New England to the three-yard line (see the highlight here).
Welker currently has 79 catches for 854 yards to lead the league despite having missed two games due to injury. As stated in this week’s Gut Check, Sunday’s performance by itself would make Welker the Patriots’ sixth-leading receiver for the season. On the other end of the spectrum, 15 receptions would make him the third-leading pass-catcher on the Raiders, only two behind Louis Murphy’s 17.
Mr. Welker, in this week of giving thanks, we show our gratitude by giving you the PD Game Ball.
Email Chris Warner at email@example.com