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Peter King on M&M: ‘It’s only a matter of time before the defense ruins their season’

10.07.11 at 1:43 pm ET

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King joined Mut & Merloni Friday at noon for his weekly discussion of NFL news.

King talked about wide receiver Wes Welker and his incredible start to the season. Welker has 40 receptions for 616 yards and five touchdowns in just four games so far this season. King said that the Patriots wideout is one of the top four or five receivers in the game.

“I think he is [one of the NFL’s top receivers] if you consider that there are a lot of different kinds of receivers in football right now,” King said. “He certainly is the state-of-the-art in the flat, and the great thing about him is he’s versatile, he can do anything.

“If the Jets are smart, they’ll put [Darrelle] Revis on him from the start of the game until the end. He clearly is a guy who you have to pay attention to on running downs and throwing downs, and If I were Rex [Ryan], if I were Mike Pettine, there’d be no question. On Wednesday, I would have taken Revis and I would’ve just said, ‘You’ve got this guy every snap.’ ”

While Welker has been enjoying an excellent 2011 season, teammate Chad Ochocinco has struggled to find a place in the New England offense. Through the first four games, Ochocinco has just seven receptions for 113 yards.

“I’m surprised, because knowing the offense and conquering what he has to know in the playbook has never been a problem, and I don’t know if specifically if that’s his problem today,” King said. “He has not done with Tom Brady what Brady has with all those other guys, which is the faith of knowing exactly where he’s going to be and what time he’s going to be there.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

On the Patriots defense: “It’s only a matter of time before the defense ruins their season. I wrote that the other day, and after watching them now for 75 percent of their games, their plays so far, I just think that first of all, I was very surprised to hear Pepper Johnson, who I respect a lot, say the other day that he’s happy with the pressure that they’re getting on up front. How can you be happy with the pressure you’re getting up front when Chad Henne torches you?

I don’t think its the scheme. I think Belichick knows what he’s doing in that way. I just think the players playing it, particularly in the front end, are just not getting the pressure they need to bother quarterbacks enough to beat them.”

On Jets QB Mark Sanchez: “We’ve all seen him be good enough to very good, especially in the clutch. And I refuse to believe that the guy’s a bum. He’s not a bum, he’s a young quarterback learning his craft who is going to have some rocky days. … Without pressure on Sanchez, I would think he’d be able to do some damage with [Plaxico] Burress and Santonio Holmes this week.”

On the surging Detroit Lions: Calvin Johnson reminds me of Andre Johnson. Matt Schaub once told me, ‘I’ll just throw it up there, [Andre] has the best chance of anybody, even if he’s in triple coverage, to get it. And I remember being with Matthew Stafford in training camp this year and I said, ‘Look at how many times you keep going to Calvin Johnson.’ I think there was 17 plays on that day in camp with the full squad on the field, on both sides, 17 snaps and he completed six passes out of like 10 to Calvin Johnson. And I said, ‘Why’d you go to him so much?’ And he look at me and he goes, ‘Wouldn’t you?’ “

Read More: Chad Ochocinco, Darrelle Revis, Peter King, Wes Welker



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