Wes Welker has had many tremendous games for the Patriots, but he was at his best in today’s 34-31 loss to the Bills.
Because it was a loss, his 16 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns will probably be overlooked, but the receptions and yards were both single-game Patriots records.
Welker was particularly sharp in the fourth quarter, when the Patriots drove 71 yards in 15 players to tie the score. Welker had four catches on the drive, including two fourth-down grabs. The first fourth-down reception was a leaping grab just a yard past the first-round marker at the Bills 36.
Then, when the Patriots were faced with a fourth-and-goal at the Bills’ 6-yard line, quarterback Tom Brady whipped a pass to Welker at the 1-yard line, and Welker powered his way into the end zone for the tying score. That was the end of Welker’s day because the Patriots never got the ball back.
Welker’s previous high for receptions was 15 for 192 yards against the Jets in 2007. Welker has caught 10 or more passes in 12 games, which is also a team record.
“I think the turnovers really killed us in the end,’’ said Welker. “We were able to do some good things out there, we moved the ball pretty well and things like that but when we get in key positions, we can't turn the ball over and make some of those mistakes. ... We didn't play very good complementary football with each other and the Bills came out there and played hard, kept fighting and they were definitely a tougher team than us today."
The loss also ruined the personal accomplishments.
"I mean, it detracts everything,’’ he said. “We lost the game. What should be a great, fun day of breaking records and all of those things is totally opposite. I think it shows we have a long way to go and we have to step up across the board and make plays and understand that we just can't play like this."