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.”