Monday, February 6, 2012

Wes Welker and I Both Share a Giant Nightmare

We were driving around earlier tonight when I asked C if he blamed Tom Brady for last night's Super Bowl loss against the New York Giants.

"No, I don't blame him.  I blame stupid Wes Welker.  He should have caught that ball!"  He was dead serious.

So one of the most valuable players on the Patriots, who couldn't catch a pass that was thrown about two yards behind him with 4 minutes left was the sole reason for the Patriots to choke away another Super Bowl against the New York Giants?  It had nothing to do with Tom Brady foolishly throwing the ball away on the Patriots first offensive play for a safety?  It wasn't a defense that couldn't force a Giants punt when it counted most?  And I suppose the Giants played pretty well, but my loser's lament will never really admit that.

But was it really Welker's fault?  In that sequence, BenJarvis Green-Ellis was absolutely stuffed on First Down, losing a yard.  Welker's miss was on Second Down.  On Third Down, Branch seemed to have also whiffed on a Brady pass that would have ensured a first down.  But let's just say that Welker catches that ball.  There is 4 minutes left, the Patriots have the ball on the 25 yard line with a 2 point lead.  I see the Patriots turning on the conservatism, centering the ball within the hashmarks and kicking a field goal to make it 20-15.  I think the outcome is the same - just a much more powerful and lasting loss.

And on the ensuing Giants' possession, Mario Manningham caught a beautifully thrown ball from Manning for a 38 yard gain that seemingly dealt the Patriots a death blow.  I even remarked during the game that I didn't know how Manning made that pass since he was entirely throwing off of his back foot.  After that, Manning connected with Manningham again for 18 yards and Nicks for 14 yards to bring the ball comfortably within field goal range.  Again, I ask...was it really Welker's fault?

Ultimately, yes.  If Welker catches that ball, the Patriots go up by 5 with less than two minutes left.  The Giants have no timeouts left and if there is one thing that the Patriots were good at all year - it was the one turnover at the end of the game to save the game.  It would have been a tough catch, but Welker's made tougher catches and it's tough to make that argument when we see David Tyree on the Giants' sideline.

I agree with Gisele.

Oh yeah, if the Patriots scored a field goal and stopped the Giants to keep the score 20-15, ole JMR would have won the Fourth Quarter squares.  Like I said, Loser's Lament.

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