Skip to content

Debating the Welker “drop”

Tonight’s 90-minute, sleep-deprivation edition of NBC SportsTalk, which got rolling only nine hours after Peter King and I wrapped up a two-hour show live from the floor of Lucas Oil Stadium, included several spirited debates.

And here’s one of them.

The key misfire late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, which came with the Patriots leading by two and driving for the dagger, could be blamed on receiver Wes Welker, quarterback Tom Brady, or perhaps most accurately both.

But who gets the bulk of the blame?  Peter takes one side and I take the other in an organic discussion that almost included me falling out of my chair.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Permalink 45 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Rumor Mill, Videos
45 Responses to “Debating the Welker “drop””
  1. Soulman45 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:12 PM

    That was a hard catch to make by Welker being short made it rough to happen it would take a Calvin Johnson 6-5 to reach it.

  2. nineroutsider says: Feb 6, 2012 8:16 PM

    Anyone actually want to watch this video? It’s a drop…it happens and it can’t be changed.

  3. dmartin17 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:18 PM

    There is no debate. Brady made a bad throw and Welker was almost able to bail him out with a great catch. Welker probably should’ve been able to bring it in but it was far from routine.

  4. henryjones20 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:23 PM

    If u call lee evans play a “drop”when the db batted it out of his hands then u best believe walker has to be the goat in this game.hand both hands on the rock.he chocked just like u ppl said lee evans choked.end of story

  5. truthfactory says: Feb 6, 2012 8:28 PM

    Brady fans can blame his teammates all they want, but those same teammates got it done 2 weeks ago when he laid an egg and threw 0 tds and 2 picks against the ravens.

    He gets ALL the credit when they win, and has got to take the heat when they lose.

  6. nationalmediacansuckit says: Feb 6, 2012 8:30 PM

    What’s to debate? It wasn’t the best throw, but it also hit Welker in both hands. It happens. Live with it. Case closed

  7. Michael says: Feb 6, 2012 8:35 PM

    It would have been a tough catch, but Welker should have caught it. He’s a great receiver, and makes that catch 4 out of 5 times. Got to make it in the SB. Agreed, it could have been a better throw, but it was still a catchable ball by the #1 wr in the SB. Got to make the catch.

  8. kylehealy says: Feb 6, 2012 8:41 PM

    It’s on both of them, but the majority of the blame resides with Welker. Tom didn’t make the most accurate throw, in fact, if he threw a perfect ball he could have hit Welker in stride and thats a TD. But he made a slightly inaccurate pass, still putting the ball in position for only Welker to grab it. Gotta feel for Welker though. It was a tough pass to catch, a high, back shoulder throw, but as an NFL receiver it’s a catch you have to make and obviously it was the difference in the Patriots winning the Super Bowl and the Patriots losing.

    But hats off to the Giants. Some of those throws Eli made were absurd. Backed up his comments of being an elite QB from the beginning of the year with a Super Bowl win. Rex Ryan could learn a thing or two from Eli.

  9. orthodoxdj says: Feb 6, 2012 8:42 PM

    Brady played his last game as a Patriot.

  10. joker65 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:49 PM

    Why are there quotation marks around drop in the title to this thread? It was a drop. Welker said it was a drop….and for anyone who thinks Brady made a bad throw, go listen to what Herm Edwards said about it on Mike and Mike in the Morning today..and what Steve Young said about it as well. I’ll take their analysis of the throw over a bunch of yahoo Brady haters….

  11. bahshah27 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:03 PM

    You know what It was on his fingertips. You cant really place the blame.

    I did notice that they cant really stretch the field with the jump ball the way they did in years past. The midget crew of wr’s and running backs works great for passing out of the backfield works great for short to mid game. But, man they need to go find a Randy Moss type wr. Maybe Vincent Jackson or someone in the draft.

  12. kegowhisky says: Feb 6, 2012 9:11 PM

    It’s a football game. Someone wins, someone loses. Mistakes happen; you can’t be perfect all the time (either one of them). They’re both credits to the game and just need to move on to next year – yes, the fans too!

  13. Sam Von Schamm says: Feb 6, 2012 9:41 PM

    Both guys are to blame. It was a bad pass that Welker could have caught (Don’t tell Collinsworth that Brady threw a bad pass – he blamed the INT on Gronk).

    It’s unfortunately being framed by the media as the catch that would have won the game for the Pats. Why?

    Manning and friends needed just over two and a half minutes to score a TD. If Welker catches that pass, who’s to say NY doesn’t stop them in three plays, giving Manning (after the NE field goal) just under two minutes to score?

    Manning got it done in 2 1/2 minutes, but he could NOT have done the same in just under two minutes? We’ll never know, but as always the media have framed their argument around a disturbing lack of common sense.

  14. suresk says: Feb 6, 2012 9:45 PM

    Brady should have thrown a better ball (if he had, there’s a good chance that would have been a TD, as it was, even if Welker comes up with it, he would have been down there..), but Welker should have been able to pull it down.

    I don’t blame Brady or Welker for the loss, though. The Patriots had a number of chances, on both sides of the ball, to put that game away and missed all of them. They lost as a team.

  15. irishking says: Feb 6, 2012 9:53 PM

    Who cares if Welker caught it or not? It was just the Super Bowl.

  16. fissels says: Feb 6, 2012 10:12 PM

    Any of you who say he should have caught it ever drop a thrown football?

  17. rc33 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:25 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Feb 6, 2012 8:28 PM
    Brady fans can blame his teammates all they want, but those same teammates got it done 2 weeks ago when he laid an egg and threw 0 tds and 2 picks against the ravens.

    He gets ALL the credit when they win, and has got to take the heat when they lose.

    ——————-

    What planet do you live on?
    Brady was skewered by the Boston media for his play against Baltimore. And even worse this morning by Eric Wilbur in the Globe, who essentially said he was finished as an elite player.
    Brady catches his share of heat. He also unquestionably carried a marginally talented team all season long…and that needs to be taken into account too. But for your narrative purposes, its easier just to baselessly state that he never gets criticized.
    Dead wrong.
    .

  18. anpsteel says: Feb 6, 2012 10:28 PM

    The people who are saying that was on Welker are just delusional. That pass was late, high, and over the wrong shoulder.

    Welker made a phenomenal play just to get his hands on it. But his bodily momentum was taking him the other direction, that combined with the over throw- made the pass virtually impossible for him to catch- unless he were about 6 inches taller.

  19. latopia says: Feb 6, 2012 10:35 PM

    It’s only a “drop” because Welker performed an amazing 180 to get his hands on a wrong-shoulder throw by Brady. The momentum from twisting his body to reach the ball carried him through the inertia required to secure the catch. Like to hear from STATS.com. They’re pretty conservative on drops resulting from poor throws.

    Oh. And shoulder-less humpback Peter King wouldn’t know a wrong-shoulder throw if it hit him between the cheeks.

  20. daveyjones1 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:55 PM

    Look if a receiver can get both hands on it he can catch it. The throw was not the best admittedly, however, it was a catchable ball. Welker made a great adjustment to get to it, but he had to secure it.

    How many catches have yo seen that were more difficult than that just this year? In the NFL, guys make great catches. Look at the Manningham catch on the last drive of the game. That was just as difficult as Welkers attempt.

  21. hooterdawg says: Feb 6, 2012 11:05 PM

    The Pats deserve the same blame that got the Polians and head coach fired in Indy: they built the team around the strength of their QB, but don’t have enough talent/cap space to mask the other team weaknesses.

  22. seeschool says: Feb 6, 2012 11:10 PM

    It’s on both of them, but the majority of the blame resides with Welker. Tom didn’t make the most accurate throw, in fact, if he threw a perfect ball he could have hit Welker in stride and thats a TD.

    Not from where I was watching. There was a safety in front of welker, so brady had to throw it to his back shoulder. It was too high, but it had to be behind welker otherwise it would have been a pick.

  23. truthfactory says: Feb 6, 2012 11:22 PM

    What planet do you live on?
    Brady was skewered by the Boston media for his play against Baltimore. And even worse this morning by Eric Wilbur in the Globe, who essentially said he was finished as an elite player.
    Brady catches his share of heat. He also unquestionably carried a marginally talented team all season long…and that needs to be taken into account too. But for your narrative purposes, its easier just to baselessly state that he never gets criticized.
    Dead wrong.
    ——————

    I live on this planet… this planet where I read and hear about “Brady’s” 16 wins in the post-season and that’s why he’s the “greatest of all time”… however, the fact is that many of those games he played terribly, but the Patriots team covered up for him.

    His QB rating drops dramatically in the playoffs, (even more than Peyton Manning). Sure he may get criticized the next day after his bad game, but weeks, months, and even years from now no one pays attention to those bad games, and only focus on the 16 wins.

    He threw for only 145 yds in a Superbowl and won, 3 INT’s in the AFC championship game in 2007 and won, threw 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s 2 weeks ago in AFC championship, and won… Many other stinkers along the way, but they all resulted in wins. When we look back at his post-season record, no one notices that they got many of those playoff wins inspite of Tom Brady, not because of him.

    Not fair for him to get all the praise for those wins, and not take all the heat for this loss. He gets all the glory, he’s gotta take the heat

  24. thraiderskin says: Feb 6, 2012 11:23 PM

    How can a ball hit a PROFESSIONAL football player in both hands and it not be caught, only to have a whole bunch of tardos blame it all on the quarterback? Was it a perfect throw, no, appeared to be to the wrong shoulder determined by the defender(s), but it hit the man in both hands… argument over, BOTH HANDS! It happened, just like the Giants winning proves who was the better team on Sunday.

  25. riverhorsey says: Feb 6, 2012 11:50 PM

    Wes was thinking about planting that foot and racing to the end zone. If he had settled for just catching it he would have.

  26. athleticmedic says: Feb 6, 2012 11:52 PM

    2 hands on the ball…not one… TWO! Poorly thrown ball by Brady…but a DROP by Welker…pure and simple. Now, don’t get me wrong…most guys don’t have the body position to even get two hands on the ball there…but Welker has made many more difficult catches in the past.

  27. eaglebobby says: Feb 7, 2012 12:36 AM

    Sam Von Schamm–there was 4 minutes left when he dropped that ball. If he had caught it, at the 20, New England would have run the ball on the next set of downs–the Giants had only 1 timeout and the 2 minute warning–when do they take their last TO? On defense, thus leaving them about a minute or less to drive the length of the field to score what would have to be a TD?? They would have had 230 seconds left and then you count 40 seconds for each play after that. It would have been 3rd down at the 2 minute warning–if they didn’t get the first down first of all at the 10.

  28. promickey says: Feb 7, 2012 12:42 AM

    The reason Welker droped the ball had to do with the speed that he was going, then the ball gets thrown to the opposite shoulder. The full speed, opposite shoulder and higher for the 5’9″ Welker made it a very difficult catch. Welker became off balance as a result of the speed he was going. That was a tough catch which Welker can make but the degree of difficulty is due to Welker losing balance. Mike is correct on this one. Brady has to shoulder most of the blame. Brady had time to get the ball to the open Welker.

  29. descendency says: Feb 7, 2012 1:10 AM

    How many people can get on TV and not know a **** thing about QBing.

    Tom Brady threw the ball leading Welker well past the safety whom had dropped into the area. Welker didn’t realize where the safety was and turned around to sit in the “hole” of the zone. As Welker’s turning, he realizes Tom has released the ball and it’s going well passed him.

    Tom throws the ball farther up field because of the safety and in NE’s offense, Welker is supposed to read where the safety is and push his route further up field.

    It’s so bang bang, it’s hard to blame one or the other, but it’s more Welker’s fault for not pushing his route up than Brady for making a bad throw. Brady is anticipating Welker to run deeper.

    In “read option” offenses, stuff like this happens.

  30. dennis2488 says: Feb 7, 2012 5:01 AM

    what about branch’s drops on the next two pass plays? what about the two fumbles that bounced back to the giants? what about gronkowskis injury? what about the safety that didnt need to be called? there are a lot more questionable plays that would have won the patriots the game. thats football, people are only debating this because three teams in a row gave the game to the giants.

  31. metspeed21 says: Feb 7, 2012 7:59 AM

    I’ve caught thousands of balls in my life and it’s my opinion that Welker was trying to catch the ball in a way that it wouldn’t be jarred out of his hands by a defender. I’m not saying he shied away from contact, but that he expected it and was focusing on catching it with the right softness that can absorb the impact. If it wasn’t such a crucial catch, I don’t think it’s a cerebral play at all and he catches it almost one hundred percent of the time. I feel bad for him because he deserved a better fate and when I drop any pass I agonize over it for days. You’ll vindicate yourself, Wes, I know it!

  32. sj39 says: Feb 7, 2012 8:32 AM

    Brady has had that “deer in the headlights” look in every big game he’s played in since not having the defensive play calls whispered in his ear. Even the Brady Bunch knows that.

  33. thermalito says: Feb 7, 2012 8:41 AM

    The Patriots should have gone for it on 4th down. Why would you give the ball back to your opponent on their side of the field? Stupid.

  34. marinephinfan says: Feb 7, 2012 8:44 AM

    95% Brady’s fault.

  35. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Feb 7, 2012 8:45 AM

    A question for everyone leaving comments.

    Is there another website you frequent for quality NFL news and analysis?

  36. latopia says: Feb 7, 2012 9:17 AM

    Welker didn’t realize where the safety was and turned around to sit in the “hole” of the zone. As Welker’s turning, he realizes Tom has released the ball and it’s going well passed him. LMAO. Nice try. Except anyone who watches the replay can clearly see a) Welker had already turned to his right without breaking stride when Brady still held the ball,b) Welker taking 2-3 more steps as Brady released the ball while Welker read the ball’s trajectory, again without breaking stride, c) then and only then did Welker leave the ground to perform a 180 so he could reach a ball that was clearly thrown to his opposite (left) shoulder, d) where the momentum of performing the 180 destroyed the moment of inertia which would’ve allowed Welker to secure the catch.

  37. mackie66 says: Feb 7, 2012 9:48 AM

    Brady made a not so good pass, Welker made a good, but not great attempt to catch the ball and for whatever reason(s) the play failed. So why do you people at PFT demand to assign fault? Its Bradys fault, its Welkers fault. Its really called team work, this time it didnt work out, and it didnt “work out” at the worst/best moment of the game depending on who you talk to. One play never wins or loses a game, never,,,,You people in sports media, who have no idea what “team sports” means, has this need to find fault. Why dont you get over yourself and see this incomplete pass for what its worth,,, nothing.

  38. geezohman says: Feb 7, 2012 9:56 AM

    I agree with the many posts so far… to catch a ball thrown up and behind, with welker turning… no way…

    give me the stats on any other receiver catching a ball, turning 180, having to jump at that speed of ball.

    ain’t going to happen.. thats why this is a topic !

    I’m impressed Welker trying to play ‘peace’ maker with Brady by taking the ‘blame’.

  39. steelcitywhitty says: Feb 7, 2012 10:38 AM

    The play was designed for the WR to turn inside, he did. The actual play required Brady to throw the ball outside. Welker turned in saw the ball and attempted an leaping, 180 degree twisting acrobatic catch resulting in an INCOMPLETION.

    You guys have been spoiled by the number of phenomenal catches Welker and NFL WRs make. An acrobatic, leaping, 180 degree twisting catch attempt could never be called a drop. That’s just an incompletion.

  40. petersonisthepurplejesus says: Feb 7, 2012 5:16 PM

    Why is all the attention on this play, when really Branch should be under the microscope. He had a way worse drop on the final drive that would’ve been a TD if he caught it, it was right on his hands….

  41. bozosforall says: Feb 7, 2012 5:34 PM

    metspeed21 says:
    Feb 7, 2012 7:59 AM
    I’ve caught thousands of balls in my life…

    __
    Where? On your chin, Boston Boi? Figures

  42. bozosforall says: Feb 7, 2012 5:34 PM

    steelcitywhitty says:
    Feb 7, 2012 10:38 AM
    The play was designed for the WR to turn inside, he did. The actual play required Brady to throw the ball outside. Welker turned in saw the ball and attempted an leaping, 180 degree twisting acrobatic catch resulting in an INCOMPLETION.

    You guys have been spoiled by the number of phenomenal catches Welker and NFL WRs make. An acrobatic, leaping, 180 degree twisting catch attempt could never be called a drop. That’s just an incompletion.

    __
    No, it’s called a bad throw.

  43. bozosforall says: Feb 7, 2012 5:53 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Feb 6, 2012 11:22 PM
    What planet do you live on?
    Brady was skewered by the Boston media for his play against Baltimore. And even worse this morning by Eric Wilbur in the Globe, who essentially said he was finished as an elite player.
    Brady catches his share of heat. He also unquestionably carried a marginally talented team all season long…and that needs to be taken into account too. But for your narrative purposes, its easier just to baselessly state that he never gets criticized.
    Dead wrong.
    ——————

    I live on this planet… this planet where I read and hear about “Brady’s” 16 wins in the post-season and that’s why he’s the “greatest of all time”… however, the fact is that many of those games he played terribly, but the Patriots team covered up for him.

    His QB rating drops dramatically in the playoffs, (even more than Peyton Manning). Sure he may get criticized the next day after his bad game, but weeks, months, and even years from now no one pays attention to those bad games, and only focus on the 16 wins.

    He threw for only 145 yds in a Superbowl and won, 3 INT’s in the AFC championship game in 2007 and won, threw 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s 2 weeks ago in AFC championship, and won… Many other stinkers along the way, but they all resulted in wins. When we look back at his post-season record, no one notices that they got many of those playoff wins inspite of Tom Brady, not because of him.

    Not fair for him to get all the praise for those wins, and not take all the heat for this loss. He gets all the glory, he’s gotta take the heat

    __
    So true, truthfactory.

    Tom Brady’s playoff QB rating is 86.0. By comparison, Eli Manning’s playoff rating is 89.4 and Peyton Manning’s rating is 88.4 in the post-season, both better than Brady.

    Meanwhile, players like Troy Aikman (88.3) and John Elway (79) had comparable QB ratings in the post-season to those. But of course, Joe Montana (95 QB rating in the postseason) blows them all away, resulting in his perfect 4-0 Super Bowl record, something that none of those guys will ever top.

  44. AlohaMrHand says: Feb 7, 2012 6:01 PM

    Welker should of caught it sure,and there shouldnt of been 12 men on the field on that fumble by Bradshaw. Once again Chowd fans are throwing one of their own players under the bus and ignoring other factors that contributed to the loss.

  45. backindasaddle says: Feb 8, 2012 12:52 AM

    Peter King is right. I’m a Pats fan and watch every game. Welker makes that catch 9 times out 10.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!