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Wes Welker accepts blame: “It hit me right in the hands”

Super Bowl XLVI Getty Images

The Patriots had a huge opportunity to put Super Bowl XLVI away when Tom Brady passed to an open Wes Welker on a second-and-11 pass with four minutes left in the game.

If Welker catches that pass, the Patriots get a new set of downs and the ball in field goal range while leading 17-15. Even if New England hadn’t gained another yard from there they could have taken time off the clock and kicked a field goal, and it’s possible that they would have either taken all the remaining time off the clock or scored a game-sealing touchdown. Instead, the pass was incomplete, as was Brady’s next pass, and New England had to punt the ball back to the Giants, who now had plenty of time for their game-winning drive.

Speaking to the media after the game, Welker said it was his fault.

“It hit me right in the hands,” Welker said. “I mean, it’s a play I never drop, I always make. Most critical situation, I let the team down.”

Brady deserves some blame for a high pass as well, but Welker seemed to be taking it on his own shoulders. Several Patriots repeated the mantra after the game that they win as a team and lose as a team, but Welker said that if there’s a Patriot who deserves the bulk of the blame, “I’m right up there at the top of the list.”

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78 Responses to “Wes Welker accepts blame: “It hit me right in the hands””
  1. faulkn22 says: Feb 6, 2012 7:17 AM

    He’s right. It was catchable. Nobody is perfect, though.

  2. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Feb 6, 2012 7:22 AM

    It’s a catch he makes 100 times out of 100.

  3. joetoronto says: Feb 6, 2012 7:23 AM

    Welker obviously knows what’s good for him, by saying it was on him.

    That ball was clearly high and behind him.

  4. dblr0910 says: Feb 6, 2012 7:31 AM

    Are you kidding me? It would have been a circus catch. The ball was over the wrong shoulder and he had to adjust his body in the air just get his hands on it. His accepting the blame just shows us what a classy competitor he is. Maybe M.I.A. Could learn a little class from Welker.

  5. jaltreality says: Feb 6, 2012 7:33 AM

    Yes, his view is accurate. As is the fact that, for a sizeable stretch before Gronkowski became the hot new target, Welker was a huge part of the Patriots winning games. You win some, you lose some.

  6. stevenreichert says: Feb 6, 2012 7:42 AM

    The way I saw it, the pass was behind Welker, and he had to stop his momentum and turn around to try to make the circus catch. Yes, he usually makes that catch, but the fact is Brady deserves some fault. Brady threw behind receivers several times last night.

  7. tudefit says: Feb 6, 2012 7:43 AM

    If he catches it we miss out on the opportunity to see one of Bellichek’s losing Super Bowl press conferences. They are usually an internet sensation.

  8. truthfactory says: Feb 6, 2012 7:46 AM

    Even if he catches it, they get in field goal range. Maybe the score a TD, maybe not. Even so, it woulda been a 5 point game potentially and Giants still went down and got the TD.

    U cant put up 0 points in the last 25 minutes of a tight game in the Suoer Bowl and expect to win.

  9. annes22 says: Feb 6, 2012 7:48 AM

    That was too bad, because Wes doesn’t drop very much. I feel bad for him because he’s “saved the day” for Brady over and over again during the season. Brady should take some of the blame, he threw some bad passes ar the end.

  10. dg0122 says: Feb 6, 2012 7:51 AM

    Dont forget Aaron Hernandez- after ‘makin it rain’ he performed his version of ‘drop it like its hot’

  11. 6ball says: Feb 6, 2012 7:53 AM

    .

    Definition of spot on analysis :

    Collinsworth : “Welker catches that ball 100 times out of 100.

    Michaels: “Well, we just witnessed the 101st”

    .

  12. cliffordc05 says: Feb 6, 2012 7:54 AM

    We get used to Welker making that play but it is still a very difficult catch.

  13. monkeyhouse77 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:10 AM

    Tom Brady deserves blame for throwing two incomplete passes in a row.

    It might make the NFL look bad if it’s golden boy isn’t known as the clutch QB anymore.

    Wes Welker probably should have made that catch, but I wouldn’t put their loss on his shoulders.

  14. nfl4life77 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:13 AM

    Way to man up to the Blame Wes.. Even though it wasn’t entirely your fault, your misplay was big. Gmen made the plays in the end to win it though.

  15. mataug says: Feb 6, 2012 8:16 AM

    I don’t think a game can be judged by a non-catch. How about this stat though:
    Time of possession
    Giants – 37:05
    Pats – 22:55

    It felt like those Colts games where Peyton is just waiting on the sideline while his defense does not get off the field. The one year he did win a Super Bowl his defense played at a completely different level. One player cannot carry his team in American football, specially in the playoffs where the other team is also pretty good too. Peyton couldn’t do it. And now it is clear that Brady cannot do it either. If you need any more examples, Drew Brees also comes to the mind. And these guys were the best QBs in the last 10 years.

  16. east96st says: Feb 6, 2012 8:19 AM

    Guy is still one of the best slot WRs ever and if NE fans are foolish enough to run him out of town, come to NYC Wes. With Nicks, Cruz, and you, another ring will be in the bag.

  17. theandy59 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:21 AM

    Poorly executed by both players. Brady could have made it a much easier catch with a better throw; as it was, Welker still should have caught it. I think they both share responsibility.

  18. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 6, 2012 8:23 AM

    Welker needs to take a good hard look at what
    Boston fans did to Bill Buckner years ago.

    Hey Wes, welcome to his world…

  19. pacodawg says: Feb 6, 2012 8:27 AM

    Big players make big plays in big games. He didnt

  20. damnsureis says: Feb 6, 2012 8:29 AM

    The guy would make the catch 99% of the time. If Brady could have run the play again, I’m sure he would have gone back to him.

    Face it. This wasn’t the Pats’ year. The team just wasn’t good enough. They have a lot of weaknesses they need to address. You can’t win with a patchwork defensive line like that. They need a solid defensive end that can play every down. The Seymour trade really hurt them. They also need an upgrade at cornerback. A better safety wouldn’t hurt either. But DE and CB are the two biggest weaknesses that I would address. I think the linebackers have been playing pretty solid.

    On offense, they need to run the ball more. Brady likes to call his own plays but we know Brady is very competitive and likes to carry his team, but he needs to learn that he cannot win big games without handing the ball off consistently. And on the subject of Brady, he really needs to stop heaving the ball down the field whenever he avoids a sack. It’s an interception every fricking time he does that. They also need an upgrade at receiver over Branch. And they need someone to be able to stretch the field. Someone that will consistently draw double coverage so they can get even more mismatches with their tight ends.

    That being said, as a Pats’ fan I can’t complain about 5 SB appearances in 10 seasons.

  21. jimmysimpson55 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:32 AM

    BS. Welker was wide open and he had to jump and twist just to have a chance to catch it. It figures they won’t blame the golden boy Brady for a bad throw. No wide open receiver should ever have to jump for a ball. Things the media won’t tell us.

  22. jenniferxxx says: Feb 6, 2012 8:32 AM

    It was a tougher catch than it looked. No receiver makes that grab every time.

  23. 2sausage11 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:35 AM

    Safety lost it,that pass lost it,the other droped passes lost it and 12 men on the field lost it. so yes team lost. still proud of them making it to the SB could have gone either way. As much as it pains me to say congrats Giants

  24. wingz101 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:40 AM

    That did hurt but what really hurt was that they really had no one who could stretch the field when they needed it, meanwhile the Giants has Cruz, Nicks and Manningham and the Pats could not cover them all.

    That was the key mismatch.

  25. readysethike says: Feb 6, 2012 8:41 AM

    Will he be back though next year?

  26. paulieorkid says: Feb 6, 2012 8:42 AM

    Welker takes a selfless approach by accepting responsibility. He’s actually a bit too harsh on himself, but the class is remarkable.

    This is in contrast to the positions of many athletes who when vocalizing their opinion after an obvious on field gaff — place blame, point fingers and attempt to shift responsibility toward others.

    One example: Anyone recall SDC DB Marlon McCree intercept a ball that would have iced the game in the 2007 playoffs against New England? McCree foolishly tried a runback, had the ball stripped by someone smarter than him – and cost the Chargers their season. An arrogant (and clueless) McCree defiantly brushed off questions of his decision – and insisted he’d do it exactly the same way the next time. What a jackass.

    At least Welker shows intelligence, selflessness and class in his response.

  27. pavelfitzgerald says: Feb 6, 2012 8:42 AM

    You & Rosenthal LOVE hating on Brady. Ask anyone associated with this league – if you get a hand on it you should catch it. It’s like Rosethenal blaming Brady for Welker & Branch’s dropped passes on the last drive .. .. They hit them in their HANDS!!

  28. timmons94 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:45 AM

    yes it might have cost them the game, but Welker is a stud.
    The Giants got so lucky, fumbles bouncing their way, Manningham’s catch. Brady missing Branch on last drive. And the big one- Gronk hurt.
    Pats haters- wake up.
    Brady, Welker, Gronk, Hernandez, nice oline, a young d. This team will be a factor next 4 yrs in AFC for sure.
    can’t wait for next season already.
    let’s be honest- Pats will win AFC East next yr and challenge for 1 or 2 seed again

  29. slobberknockered says: Feb 6, 2012 8:47 AM

    That pass was high, catchable but Brady threw it too high.

  30. beefy78 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:47 AM

    Welker’s catch was high there was nothing wrong with the throw to branch

  31. reason35 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:51 AM

    Not only should he have caught that ball, but Branch dropped the first ball on the final drive that would’ve put them over mid-field on one play. Then Hernandez drops the next one for a first down….Brady didn’t have a whole lot of help when he needed it from his pass catchers…

  32. frk49rs says: Feb 6, 2012 8:53 AM

    Way to Man Up!!! I have respect for anyone who steps up and is willing to take the blame for his actions.

  33. henryjones20 says: Feb 6, 2012 8:53 AM

    faulkn22: You are 100% right.just dont try tellin that 2 these stupid bills fans who r tryn 2 run stevie johnson out of town for droppin 2 passes over the past 2 years.

  34. tomcous says: Feb 6, 2012 8:57 AM

    Welker made it look more catchable than it was … it was high and Behind … Brady threw behind his WR’s on several plays …

    The bad drop came from Hernandez that one was lack of concentration … the rest of them I’d put squarely on Brady to include the dive Branch almost kept his toes in.

    Great game all the way around though …

  35. bleed4philly says: Feb 6, 2012 9:00 AM

    - how many superbowls have the patriots won since they got caught cheating? Oh that’s right, ZERO

  36. gdeli says: Feb 6, 2012 9:04 AM

    Just like the vikings in the playoffs, the guy is good but when you need the big play…they fall flat. uh. Hey goodell…what the heck were you thinking when you had madonna and m.i.a. do the half time show? how stupid is that? remember janet jackson? you couldn’t get john mellencamp or such? just stupid.

  37. 1captain1 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:04 AM

    Wes Welker sucks!

  38. latopia says: Feb 6, 2012 9:06 AM

    Big of Brady to say he’d “keep throwing it to him”.

    That’s right Tom. Keep throwing to the wrong shoulder so we can throw all those Montana comparisons under the bus.

  39. dempsey63 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:10 AM

    I’m nobody. Thank you for the compliment.

  40. melikefootball says: Feb 6, 2012 9:10 AM

    Tommy Boys wife blamed the receivers for lose because they did not catch ball. I thought it was the reinjury of shoulder..wait no it was the interception by Tommy…no it was the safety in the endzone…no it was throwing behind a few receivers…..oh well Wess will take the blame.

  41. bjamesa says: Feb 6, 2012 9:17 AM

    Last year the Packers were faced with almost the exact adoration. They had the ball and the lead with a chance to drain the clock. On 3rd & 10, Rodgers threw a dart to Greg Jennings that extended the drive and pretty much ended the game. I guess what I’m saying is… Rodgers > Brady.

  42. duanethomas says: Feb 6, 2012 9:17 AM

    Mr Funny Guy. Last year with feet comments before the loss to the Jets, and this years media day with the Red hat and 70’s porn star mustache. Catch the ball. They need to draft ot get Brady some big fast wideouts. No more midgets. No more 18 undrafted free agents. The Giants studs made plays. The Patroits had an undrafted free agent on Manningham. Welker undrafted drops a pass. Woodhead non factor. Edelman??? Did he play? Draft some studs!!!!

  43. marinephinfan says: Feb 6, 2012 9:19 AM

    I gotta give it to Welker for “Manning” up (pun intended), but the pass was horrible. Sure, a lot of people like to say, “If it hits you in the hands it’s catchable”. However, Welker not only had to jump (most likely about as high as he can jump) and at the same time spin around 180 degrees. If that pass was thrown correctly Welker scores.

    It’s just another example of Brady choking when under pressure. He is NOT an all-time top 10 QB.

  44. bhindenemylines says: Feb 6, 2012 9:21 AM

    Yes, that one was a killer.

    But Branch and Hernandez dropped a few on the final drive that really put the nail in the coffin.

  45. samoanjungle says: Feb 6, 2012 9:23 AM

    I thought it was more of a bad pass than a drop.

  46. mongobo says: Feb 6, 2012 9:23 AM

    While I blame him for the creepy mustache, I don’t think he should be too down on himself for the loss. It was a tough pass to catch, his team had the lead, and no one else on the Patriots capitalized on their opportunities for victory.

    The Patriot offense, defense, and special teams all had their shot at securing the win after that drop, and didn’t. It happens.

    Without a horse in the race, I thought this was a fun Super Bowl to watch. Terrific effort by both teams.

  47. dirtdawg55 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:27 AM

    The game is cruel and the fortunes of many are tied up in too many single moments. Santonio Holmes finishes one of the greatest drives in SB history but the play before let a very catchable pass go right through his hands on a pass even easier than the one Welker dropped.

    At least Welker manned up and NE fans should be proud to have a guy like that on their team but I have seen an awful lot of vitriol on boards in the last several hours, presumably from Pats fans who are ravaging Welker. What is wrong with you people? Welker has done nothing but perform admirably and you want to savage this guy? You should be grateful for him.

    Lots of blame to go around for this Pats loss. Brady’s intentional grounding, his int and a few bad throws at the end (they werent all drops). Belichick’s challenge which burned a time out. Hernandez and Branch dropping passes that hit them dead on in the hands. The too many men on the field penalty that wiped out a turnover and led to the Cruz touchdown.

    Moan and groan about Welker’s drop all you want (a catchable pass, but not an easy one), but plenty of blame to go around. The Pats didn’t get it done when they had nothing but chances to do so.

  48. ravenscaps48 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:27 AM

    Wasn’t exactly Brady’s greatest throw, either… Wes Welker is no match for Lee Evans….. That guy

  49. geezohman says: Feb 6, 2012 9:37 AM

    that pass and route and receiver method has more drops than catches.
    Hard thrown ball, having to go up many feet to catch. No.. lousy pass… thanks for taking the blame of the whole team.
    Brady couldn’t complete the next pass.
    New England without tapes of teams practicing’ shows now, they can’t beat a ‘winning’ team. Ravens should have been there, can u believe a missed 32 yard field goal.

    Its as crazy as the weather. READ THE NEWS… snow at the Vatican !
    Tebow beat the Steelers….

    Giants were not rated in the top ten by ESPN magazine beginning of the year… as I see the listing from my stack of papers.

    I’m glad Brady lost… Go be a model

  50. peteski72 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:44 AM

    Yes all the”if only” will swirl around for awhile. I am a devoted-Patriots fan,they played horribly. the Giants played a much better one. They won fair and square.

  51. jasonwhitlockalterego says: Feb 6, 2012 9:49 AM

    Not exactly sure how Brady can get any blame at all for that play. The NFL’s leading receiver HAS to make that catch. It was a choke job through and through.

  52. bozosforall says: Feb 6, 2012 9:54 AM

    The difference between winning and losing for the Pats?

    Sonycam

  53. occamssabre says: Feb 6, 2012 9:56 AM

    As a Ravens fan: Welcome to our world.

  54. urfinished says: Feb 6, 2012 9:56 AM

    It did…he’s a good player, but great players make that catch in the super bowl.
    He is one of the best role players of all time, but does dropping that catch adds “not clutch” to the list of weaknesses…which would basically include anything other than run 8 yard slants and outs.

  55. ruthlssjag says: Feb 6, 2012 9:57 AM

    Ya, he couldl’ve sealed a “Potential” game winning FG attempt from 30 or 40+, however the Pats never should’ve even had a possession in the first place. Whetger Bradshaw last balance on the 1 or not (which seems like he did), Coughlin & staff shoukd’ve known they were gonna give them an easy score. Eli & company simply could’ve run down the clock & attempted the FG from 20 yds out, which is the more likely scenario. Coughlin coached an epic game, but he should’ve done a better job with time management on the most crucial drive of the game! I’m ecstatic for the Giants for putting pressure on the final drive to seal the game, but it simply should NOT have gotten to that!
    Congratulations to the 2011 NFL WORLD CHAMPIONS:
    The New York Giants aka tye G-Men!!!

  56. hcf95688 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:59 AM

    He looked like Bill Buckner out there.

  57. bspn2 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:02 AM

    Ochocinco makes that catch.

    Just sayin’…

  58. raiders757 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:02 AM

    Welker is taking too much flack considering that he had to dive for the pass.

    @ Ruth: I disagree. Take the points and put trust in your defense. What would have happened if the field goal was blocked or went wide right?

  59. dalfanforever says: Feb 6, 2012 10:03 AM

    It was very catchable. We were screaming at the TV saying pretty much what Collinsworth was saying. “He ALWAYS catches that ball!!” It happens, but man, it could have been lights out if he would have pulled that in.

    Congrats to the Giants. This was a game that easily could have gone either way, with no team dominating the other.

  60. Soulman45 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:06 AM

    Lose as a team the catch should have been made but sometime one get away.
    Good game from both teams.
    Next team up
    THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS.

  61. greysolon says: Feb 6, 2012 10:14 AM

    Welker is terrible, New England. Let him go in free agency.

    Sincerely,
    The Rest Of The AFC

  62. fsckedagain says: Feb 6, 2012 10:15 AM

    Well, let me just say I hate the Patriots, but that is not a catch Welker is supposed to make. If he did that would have been one of the greatest catches ever in a Super Bowl. Don’t beat yourself up over it, Wes…

  63. Amadeus says: Feb 6, 2012 10:16 AM

    Wes, suggest you go out to lunch with Kyle Williams and Billy Cundiff

  64. JackLeone says: Feb 6, 2012 10:23 AM

    He cannot accept all the blame for this loss. Gronk & Branch dropped a pivtol pass too. Welker’s drop did not cost them the game. It was a team effort.

  65. mogogo1 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:25 AM

    Sure, he could have caught it, but it was not a “He catches that 10 times out of 10 times” play like the announcers said at the time. Hernandez had a much worse drop, as well, and if Brady doesn’t commit grounding on their first play of the game, they wouldn’t have needed a TD on the final drive.

    Bottom line is the Giants dominated most of the first half but didn’t capitalize by getting more points, the Pats dominated the last few minutes of the first half and the third quarter but also failed to capitalize and left the game within reach. It was a great game to watch and I didn’t see any goats who deserve being called out for the Pats losing.

  66. cereal blogger says: Feb 6, 2012 10:33 AM

    The throw WAS high more than anything, I think Brady missed. If Welker pulls that down, it would have been a phenomenal catch. He shouldnt be taking as much heat

  67. goindy2006 says: Feb 6, 2012 10:51 AM

    Wes it was not your fault dude! You all played a great game! It’s the luck of the draw sometimes! Heck I’m a Colts fan and the Pats are the team I hate to play the most but it was a good game! No one person lost that game. That was a good team effort and I think Wes is trying to take on too much of the blame there! Great game guys! Not taking anything from the Giants either they have been doing this all year to teams… just staying close and then they move in for the kill with Eli! Watch out big brother here comes Eli! Seems like the Giants have become the anti-Pats solution as of late shesh!

  68. johnnyjagfan says: Feb 6, 2012 11:08 AM

    Stand up guy. True NE Patriot style accountability even though the pass wasn’t perfect.

  69. bunkmcnulty says: Feb 6, 2012 11:29 AM

    Welker is a gamer I would love to have on my team. His play has won many games. This guy has nothing to apologize for.

    Besides, his remarks a couple years back with all the foot references is stil one of the funniest things that I have ever heard a player say.

    I guess he stubbed his toe on that catch that wasn’t. Sorry, not as funny from me.

  70. igotgamenj says: Feb 6, 2012 11:30 AM

    CHOKE

  71. bigbamboom1 says: Feb 6, 2012 11:31 AM

    I live in Boston. But let’s face the obvious here. History will not record that dropped Wes Welker pass as the play that cost NE the SuperBowl. I sure don’t! It won’t blame Tom Brady for a bad throw or safety for the loss. It won’t blame the Pats lack of luck in securing turnovers or a hail Mary pass as culprits.

    History will say a simple truth about SB46. The coach of the NE Patriots conceded the win to the NY Giants with 1 Min 4 seconds left, by allowing the G-Men to score an uncontested winning touchdown to win the game. The Giants won on a technical decision! That decision and touchdown determined the winner. Nothing else. Not the Manningham catch or anything else. Belichick made a major strategic blunder by waiting much too late to allow the TD. It should have happened with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left and 3 Patriot timeouts in the bank. I was literally yelling at my TV for him to do it. To the shock of my party guests. It was the only play and only decision left the way Eli was playing.

    Belichick didn’t trust his defense to stop a field goal. So he decided the obvious waaay too late for Tom Brady to work his magic. And that is how they lost. Basically the Patriots and Giants were 2 evenly match teams playing to a standstill. And it boiled down to an end of game coaching decision. That’s how history will eventually see it.

  72. davoider says: Feb 6, 2012 11:44 AM

    @Ruthlssjag

    Just FYI – the play being referenced here took place BEFORE the Giants got the ball and thus was referring to the Patriots running out the clock without the Giants ever being able to attempt a winning drive.

    However, we all know hypothetical situations are pointless, as we could use them to change the outcome of every game ever played.

  73. bigjimatch says: Feb 6, 2012 11:55 AM

    Too bad. This is a sad way for Welker to end is Pats career. We all know the Pats won’t pay him.

  74. vincentbojackson says: Feb 6, 2012 11:59 AM

    Welker was clearly surprised, that was the first pass he’d seen Brady throw further than 8 yards all season.

  75. olcap says: Feb 6, 2012 12:03 PM

    Wow, if only they had bigbamboom1 for their coach, they would have won!

  76. beeronthefridge says: Feb 6, 2012 2:17 PM

    The only guy that could have made that catch was the SB trophy presenter – Raymond Berry!

  77. gmsalpha says: Feb 6, 2012 3:00 PM

    Did anyone notice that during the game, Welker had a mustache, but in his postgame interview, he had shaved it off?

  78. cardinals1234 says: Feb 6, 2012 9:50 PM

    No, no one else noticed that.

    *ROLLS EYES*

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