Wes Welker: ‘You have to be able to put it away’
|10.14.12 at 9:05 pm ET|
What should’ve been entertaining talk about one of the great streaks of his career and another chance to poke fun at his head coach turned into Wes Welker trying to explain how the explosive Patriots offense suddenly went cold in a 24-23 shocking loss to the Seahawks in Seattle.
The Patriots put up over 300 yards of passing in just over two quarters of football. Welker, himself, had seven catches on eight targets in the first half from Tom Brady. He had 102 yards of receiving and a 46-yard touchdown pass under his belt as the Patriots went to the locker room with a 17-10 lead.
That lead grew to 23-10 on a pair of Stephen Gostkowski field goals but the Patriots certainly had the sense that they were leaving way too many points on the field.
There was the blown opportunity from the Seattle 24 with 40 seconds left in the first half that ended with Brady taking the first of his two intentional grounding calls in the game, as the Patriots got greedy and turned down the sure field goal and looked into the end zone. There were the two Brady interceptions in the second half, one coming in the red zone. And there was the second intentional grounding near midfield that forced the Patriots into third and long and eventually, a punt.
For a team that prides itself in being the very best offense in the game, they were an unacceptable 1-for-6 in the red zone, with an incompletion, an interception and three field goals to go along with Brady’s one-yard TD pass to Aaron Hernandez.
Now, the stat they’re going to hear all week and in their sleep is four points, the combined margin in New England’s three losses this season. With a chance to beat the Cardinals at home, Gostkowski hooks a 42-yard field goal wide left in the final seconds. Leading the Ravens, 30-21, in the fourth quarter, the Ravens find a way to score the final 10 points and beat New England at the gun on a disputed field goal.
And now Sunday, a rookie quarterback throws a pair of fourth-quarter TDs as Brady and the Patriots offense can’t convert key first downs and protect a 23-10 fourth-quarter lead.
“We talk about playing a good 60 minutes of football and we seem to come up a little bit short,” Welker said. “These close games like this, especially when you have the lead in the fourth quarter, you have to be able to put it away. We weren’t able to do that today.”
Welker finished with 10 catches and 138 yards, becoming the first Patriots receiver since Randy Moss in 2007 amass four straight games of 100 yards receiving. But instead of talking about that, Welker and the Patriots are wondering how and why they are 3-3.
“Right now, it’s really frustrating,” Welker said. “We just have to get back to work and really work on these things and make sure we’re pushing through and win the games in the end.”