During the Broncos’ 34-31 overtime loss to the Patriots last Sunday night, fans and the media criticized Welker for his game-changing blunders. During the Broncos’ late overtime drive, they were a good five to six yards away from kicking a field goal to end the game. Yet on a third and manageable situation, Peyton Manning threw the ball towards Welker, only to have the ball slapped out of his hands by Aqib Talib and it falling incomplete.
What is being said is that had Welker held on to the football, they would have had a legitimate chance to either kick a long field goal into the wind or go for it on what could have been a fourth and one or two. Even Jack Del Rio told reporters that they were a good five or so yards away from making that decision, but since it was a long field goal into the wind, he didn’t want to take the chance and punted.
And you cannot forget the botched punt return that Welker did not inform Tony Carter on which ended up hitting Carter and becoming a live ball. On that one, Welker should have either let Carter know where the ball was or that he was actually close enough to run up to it and call fair catch.
To be honest, what happened in that game was not Welker’s fault. While some of his mistakes tipped the scales in the Patriots’ favor, the game should have never gotten to that point in the first place. The defense should have kept the Patriots from scoring, and the offense should have done a better job at scoring points.
While some of the plays can be put on Welker, a football team wins as a team and loses as a team. The collapse was a team effort, and the blame should not be put on just one person.