The New England Patriots passing attack was in full force in their narrow 31-30 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens, and Wes Welker was front and center in the Pats display through the air.
Welker led the Pats passing attack with eight catches for 142 yards; stats that I have shamelessly memorized. Brandon Lloyd also had over 100 receiving yards, but he wasn’t as productive as Welker, and he also had an easy matchup against cornerback Cary Williams.
Tom Brady always looks for Welker when he’s on the field, and last night’s game was no different with Welker getting ten passes thrown his way. Lloyd beat him with 12 targets and nine catches, but Welker caught a higher percentage of the passes thrown at him (by 5%) for more yards.
Stats aren’t everything, and Welker was able to have a productive game despite all the speculative trade rumors floating around. He was the brightest spot on this Pats team in a game that was close mainly because of the efforts displayed by Brady, Welker, and Lloyd. Brady finished the game with 335 passing yards for an average of 8.2 yards per attempt in his best game of the season so far. A performance that was greatly aided by Welker, who had 42.4% of the team’s passing yards.
After his performance on Sunday night, Welker has stated why he is so important to the Patriots offense and why he will not be traded. Even for one year, Welker has more value to the Pats than he does for any team in the league. No team is going to give enough for Welker, who is merely an old slot receiver on a “stay-away-from” franchise tender not worth anything higher than a third-round pick at most. But for the Patriots, he’s one of the most important players on a Super Bowl contender.
Great game for Welker, and it reminds us all why he’s the all-time leader in receptions for the Patriots.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.