Wes Welker is not known for his blocking, but perhaps the pick that he set for his teammate has given him quite the media attention.
Following Sunday’s win over the New England Patriots, coach Bill Belichick stated the following about Patriots corner back Aqib Talib‘s injury in the Monday press conference:
“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open and I’ll let the league handle the discipline on the play.”
But was it a cheap shot? It did not appear that it was from the wide out’s standpoint. He actually hoped that he was okay when asked about the question. Welker went on to say that it was incidental about the play in question, but was it considered a cheap shot? Looking at the replay of the incident in question, what I saw was that Welker was going to throw a block to help Demaryius Thomas get open. Granted Thomas ended up dropping the pass in question, I saw it as the block was thrown as Thomas was attempting to catch the ball. Was it excessive? Probably. But I do not see it as Welker intentionally trying to knock a star player out of the game; it was not a cheap hit by any means. Even if it was considered cheap, I have seen many players throw picks towards defenders to help their teammates get open, and they do not go unnoticed. It only makes a difference if it impacts a star player, which brings about another discussion.
Did the loss of Talib cost the Patriots the game? That I will say it did not. The whole team looked out of sync the entire game. Do not forget that football is played with 11 men on the field. It does not take one player to win a game. The Denver Broncos clearly outmatched the Patriots in almost every aspect of the game. I will agree that Talib did slow down Thomas, but what makes someone think that Peyton Manning would not just find another receiver to throw to? Clearly, losing a key player hurts, but it is the responsibility of the other 10 guys on the field to be able to adjust and it showed that they never really did. And Talib does not play offense for the Patriots, so he could not have helped Tom Brady and company if he wanted to. The offense didn’t get going until about the fourth quarter. Football is a team sport and it does not take the play of one to decide a game, it takes the whole team.
Welker’s hit could be questionable, I can agree with that. But Talib’s injury was not what helped the Broncos win. Sorry, I can not agree with that at all.