I’m gonna have some more on Wes Welker’s big day a little later in Tale of the Tape, but for now, I thought I’d give you guys a rundown of the down, distance and field position for each of his 15 catches. Here it is …
1st-and-10, NE 24 (1Q, 4:16): 17 yards*
3rd-and-8, NYJ 46 (1Q, 2:19): 15 yards*
1st-and-10, NYJ 31 (1Q, 1:35): 19 yards*
3rd-and-7, NYJ 46 (2Q, 11:54): 43 yards*
2nd-and-5, NYJ 47 (2Q, 8:35): 4 yards*
2nd-and-9, NE 22 (2Q, 1:16): 3 yards*
1st-and-10, NE 32 (2Q, 0:44): 23 yards*
1st-and-10, NYJ 45 (2Q, 0:34): 15 yards*
2nd-and-10, NE 22 (3Q, 8:53): 9 yards*
2nd-and-15, NE 46 (3Q, 5:30): 3 yards*
1st-and-10, NE 26 (4Q, 14:42): 4 yards*
2nd-and-15, NE 43 (4Q, 12:11): 13 yards*
1st-and-20, NYJ 35 (4Q, 9:49): 3 yards*
2nd-and-17, NYJ 32 (4Q, 9:22): 12 yards*
3rd-and-7, NE 32 (4Q, 2:36): 9 yards*
* — Shotgun
That’s six catches on first down, three on third down (all three converted) and seven on second down. All of his catches, as you can see, came with Brady in the shotgun, and none of them came in the red-zone — Not unusually for an open-field player like Welker.
But what I found most interesting is how the Patriots kept going to him in bad down-and-distance situations. On four of his 15 catches, the first down marker was more than 15 yards away, though none of those four came on a third down.
Why do they go to him in these spots? My guess: Defenses will defend the deeper parts of the field in those situations, so you go to a guy who can get the ball quickly and make something happen with the ball in his hands. And Welker did, consistently putting the Patriots in easily manageable third-down situations.
Like I said, I’ll bring you more on Wes’ big day later on. See you then.