People have been all over Wes Welker because in their opinion he “dropped” Tom Brady’s pass that could have all but wrapped up the Super Bowl for the Patriots in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t a drop, he just failed to catch a difficult pass, and there’s a difference between the two. Brady threw the ball behind Welker, causing him to have to turn in full sprint in an attempt to make the catch.
It would have been a spectacular catch if he had made it. Welker has been so good in his tenure with the Patriots, that people just assume that the spectacular should be routine. But it’s never routine. I’ve heard about people comparing Wes Welker to Bill Buckner, but it’s not even close. Bill Buckner’s play was routine, but not Welkers’. Maybe if I was a Patriots fan I’d be mad at Welker too. Maybe.
But if Brady had thrown a better pass, I’m almost certain Welker would have caught it. However, a chain reaction of events led to the bad pass being thrown by Brady. The Giants began getting hits on Brady, causing him to get rattled and he maybe even sustained an injury. Earlier in the game Brady’s accuracy was near perfect, but once he started getting hit it disrupted that accuracy, which led to Brady missing Welker.
Brady can’t be blamed either. Just imagine how you would feel with Justin Tuck hitting you and falling on top of you a few times. This is why having great pass rushers is a must in the NFL. It ended up being the key to the game. When Brady needed to be at his best, the punishment he took from the Giants pass rushers affected his accuracy, leading to an interception and a bad pass.
This is why every play in a game matters, from the first play to the last play. In the end, it all adds up. So in my opinion Wes Welker has nothing to be ashamed of. He didn’t catch that ball, not because it was a blatant drop on his part, but because the seeds of that play’s disaster had already been sewn long before it ever happened.