Wes Welker terrorized the Dolphins secondary on Sunday to move into the NFL record books
Remember back in the beginning of the season when Wes Welker was getting “phased out” of the Patriots’ offense? It was during the first two weeks when he wasn’t even listed in the starting line-up, was barely getting targeted, and there was even talk that the Patriots’ were doing so to make him a cheap commodity on the open market next spring.
Of course, none of that matters now because Wes Welker is now an NFL record holder for his performance this season. Oh wait, you didn’t know this? Trust me, I didn’t either and I don’t think most NFL fans knew it either. Credit the consistency of Wes Welker over the years for it. After Sunday afternoon’s win over the Miami Dolphins, Wes Welker has four touchdowns and 1064 yards and a league leading 92 receptions. This is simply more of the same for Welker as he continues an illustrious career with the New England Patriots. The record he broke yesterday only continues to highlight the consistency that Wes Welker brings to the New England Patriots. It was the sixteenth time in his career that Welker has caught at least 10 catches and 100 yards receiving in a game, a new NFL record. Not Jerry Rice or Terrell Owens or Randy Moss – some of the finest receivers to ever play the game of football – but Wes Welker.
Has he lucked into it this season? Hard to say because so much has happened with the receiving core over the course of this season. After week two and two weeks of Julian Edleman starting over him in the line-up, tight-end Aaron Hernandez went down with injury opening the door for the New England Patriots to play more three wide-receiver sets. Then, in week three just as Julian Edleman was establishing himself as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets, he broke his hand in the first half in Baltimore, thrusting Wes Welker back into his role as slot-receiver extraordinaire.
Since then, Wes Welker has done quite simply Welkery things.
Those are the numbers that Patriots fans have come to expect from Wes Welker, but that may never have happened if it wasn’t for a fortuitous case of injuries. The Patriots were never going to trade Wes Welker for two distinct reasons:
His value to the rest of the league is significantly less than it is to the Patriots. This is the dirty secret of Wes Welker.
Wes Welker more than any other player has the potential to come back as an ” ‘eff you” candidate. The Patriots know this, their fans know this, and Wes Welker knows this. Why do you think he often has some of his best games against the Miami Dolphins who dumped him for eighty five cents on the dollar?
It also isn’t as if Welker was going to suddenly get thrown into the line-up if it wasn’t for injuries. Let’s face it, something was up. Edleman was the starter. No really, I looked it up to double-check. To make matters worse for Welker, the “ace” line-up that the Patriots were throwing out there – that’s two tight-ends and two wide-receivers for those that don’t know- featured Julian Edleman and Brandon Lloyd on the outside. Now, Lloyd fell out of favor with Brady in the offense for some reason on its own, but it still doesn’t change the fact that for some reason, Wes Welker was not a large part of the Patriots offense in the beginning of the season and that has since changed.
This we know for sure now. As the season comes down to its final quarter and injured players keep returning to the roster, Wes Welker is in no danger of losing his spot in the line-up. In the most boring news story of the year, Wes Welker has reestablished himself as the best possession receiver in the game of football and the Patriots’ offense is better for it in the long-run.