FOXBOROUGH – Move over Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, and Brandon Marshall, there’s a new sheriff in town.
Wes Welker became the first player in NFL history to have 100 pass receptions in five seasons when he caught a 12-yard pass from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game against the 49ers, breaking a tie with Rice, Harrison, and Marshall – who joined the club last Sunday.
“It won’t mean anything if we don’t win the game,” Welker said after Thursday’s practice. “My focus is on the 49ers, trying to go out there and execute to the best of my ability and try to help us win this game.”
Welker’s been averaging 7.2 receptions per game in his six seasons since being traded here from Miami in 2007, and he traditionally performs well in big games.
Welker started slow this season, taking part in just 70.5 percent of the offensive snaps in the first two games of the season. Julian Edelman, now on injured reserve, started in Welker’s place in the second game against.
With the catch, Welker moved into second place in the NFL lead in receptions with 100. He entered tonight’s game ninth in the league with 1,116 yards receiving entering the game.
Two weeks ago in Miami, Welker set a league record for the most 10-catch, 100-yard games with 16, passing Jerry Rice and the Texans’ Andre Johnson. He also tied Rice’s NFL mark with his 17th career game of 10 or more receptions.
In the last six seasons, Welker has more receptions than anyone else in the NFL with 654, Brandon Marshall is second on the list with 575.
Welker’s five 1,000-yard seasons as a member of the Patriots are a team record. He also now has a reception in 108 straight games.