|Wes Welker: ‘You’ve got to score touchdowns and we weren’t able to do that’||09.24.12 at 7:17 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Even though they lost the game, the positive signs in the Patriots passing game finally showed Sunday night in Baltimore. The signs fans had been expecting to show up once the team came together in training camp and put Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski on the field together.
Tom Brady was 28-of-41 for 335 yards and a touchdown and he had two receivers go over 100 yards, including the much-maligned Welker. All week leading up to the Ravens game there was speculation on why his role had diminished so much.
He played in just 63 of 80 offensive snaps in a 20-18 loss to the Cardinals. Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium, he was in on 73 of 82 snaps (89 percent). Only Brady, the offensive line and Gronkowski played more, with all seven of those players playing every single snap.
And the increased time seemed to agree with Welker. He was targeted 10 times, caught eight passes, totaled 142 yards – including a 52-yarder down the left sideline in the first half that set the tempo for his night.
“I felt like I was in the flow before. When my number is called I try to make plays and today and it just wasn’t enough,” Welker said. “I think just trying to create opportunities and win on my route and do all those things but they have a good secondary and they’ve got good players and a good defense and unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough today.”
But to Welker, the pill that was hardest to swallow was the fact that the Patriots got the ball inside the red zone twice and had to settle for field goals. The Patriots had three field goals and three touchdowns, one of which was set up by a Steve Gregory interception return down to the Ravens 6.
“We were able to move the ball and really get it down there. But when you get it in the red zone, you’ve got to score touchdowns. We weren’t able to do that and it cost us.”
The Patriots were leading 27-21 and driving deep in Ravens territory with a chance to go up two touchdowns early in the fourth quarter. Brady went to Welker, who was tackled out of bounds at the Ravens 2 by Ladarius Webb. The Patriots settled for Stephen Gostkowski‘s third field goal of the night instead of six. Those would be the final points the Patriots scored as they were forced to punt in their final two possessions.
“Of course you’d like to end the game with the ball in your possession and we made some first downs but at the end of the day it just wasn’t enough,” Welker said. “We had different opportunities through the game. We have to learn from it and move on.”
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