Welker could potentially be entering his final season as a Patriot. (FILE:USPresswire)

There’s been some interesting discussion recently regarding the contract status of Wes Welker and whether or not one of the issues may be the team wanting to instead focus on making sure they can keep tight end Aaron Hernandez in the fold long-term.

It’s lead to some heated debates among fans who argue over whether or not the Patriots should make more of an effort to make sure Welker stays in Foxboro, or to let him go to make sure the tandem of Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski remain intact.

Obviously there will be some other factors that will weigh into whether or not the Patriots could still find a way to keep him in Foxboro. However, with that in mind, here are some numbers breaking down the performance of both players over the past two seasons.  

I’ve broken it down by taking a look at the two players over the first 8 games and the final 8 in each season, including performances by down, redzone, etc. These numbers don’t include postseason numbers, but those can still be found at the links at the end of this entry.

Here is the complete breakdown:

2010 FIRST 8 GAMES:

Aaron Hernandez: 29 receptions (targeted 37 times), 388 yards (13.4 YPC), 0 TD’s
Wes Welker:¬†40 receptions (targeted 56 times), 319 yards (8.0 YPC), 3 TD’s

During that span, here’s a look at how each one performed on 1st down, 2nd down, etc.:

1st Down:
Aaron Hernandez: 
13 receptions (targeted 16 times), 147 yards (11.3 YPC), 0 TD’s
Wes Welker:¬†15 receptions (targeted 17 times), 111 yards (7.4 YPC), 0 TD’s

2nd Down:
Wes Welker:¬†14 receptions (targeted 20 times), 114 yards (8.1 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†9 receptions (targeted 11 times), 110 yards (12.2 YPC), 0 TD’s

3rd Down:
Aaron Hernandez:¬†7 receptions (targeted 10 times), 131 yards (18.7 YPC), 0 TD’s
Wes Welker: 11 receptions (targeted 18 times), 94 yards (8.5 YPC), 1 TD

RED ZONE RECEIVING:

Wes Welker:¬†6 receptions (targeted 9 times), 34 yards (5.7 YPC), 3 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†2 receptions (targeted 5 times), 16 yards (8.0 YPC), 0 TD’s

1ST DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 1 reception (targeted 2 times), 4 yards (4.0 YPC), 0 TD
Aaron Hernandez:
 0 receptions (targeted 1 time), 0 yards, 0 TD

2ND DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker:¬†3 receptions (targeted 4 times), 20 yards (6.7 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 0 receptions (targeted 1 time), 0 yards, 0 TD

3RD DOWN RED ZONE:

Aaron Hernandez: 2 receptions (targeted 3 times), 16 yards (8.0 YPC), 0 TD
Wes Welker: 2 receptions (targeted 2 times), 10 yards (5.0 YPC), 1 TD

2010 FINAL 8 GAMES:

Wes Welker: 46 receptions (targeted 67 times), 529 yards (11.5 YPC), 4 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 16 receptions (targeted 27 times), 175 yards (10.9 YPC), 6 TD’s*

*Hernandez didn’t appear to be himself later in the second half of his rookie season, with fans later finding out he suffered a hip injury that caused him to need offseason hip surgery.

Once again, during that span here’s a look at how each one performed on 1st down, 2nd down, etc.:

1st Down:
Wes Welker:¬†21 receptions (targeted 27 times), 262 yards (12.5 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†5 receptions (targeted 9 times), 42 yards (8.4 YPC), 2 TD’s

2nd Down:
Wes Welker: 
17 receptions (targeted 25 times), 185 yards (10.9 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†3 receptions (targeted 6 times), 38 yards (12.7 YPC), 2 TD’s

3rd Down:
Aaron Hernandez: 
7 receptions (targeted 11 times), 90 yards (12.9 YPC), 2 TD’s
Wes Welker:¬†7 receptions (targeted 14 times), 71 yards (10.1 YPC), 0 TD’s

RED ZONE RECEIVING:

Wes Welker:¬†8 receptions (targeted 12 times), 82 yards (10.3 YPC), 3 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 6 receptions (targeted 7 times), 24 yards (4.0 YPC), 6 TD’s

1ST DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 3 receptions (targeted 3 times), 39 yards (13.0 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez:¬†2 receptions (targeted 3 times), 11 yards (5.5 YPC), 2 TD’s

2ND DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 2 receptions (targeted 4 times), 23 yards (11.5 YPC), 2 TD
Aaron Hernandez:¬†2 receptions (targeted 2 times), 3 YDS (1.5 YPC), 2 TD’s

3RD DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 3 receptions (targeted 5 times), 20 yards (6.7 YPC), 0 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 2 receptions (targeted 2 times), 8 yards (4.0 YPC), 0 TD

——–

2011 FIRST 8 GAMES:

Wes Welker:¬†66 receptions (targeted 93 times), 960 yards (14.5 YPC), 6 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†33 receptions (targeted 50 times), 333 yards (10.1 YPC), 5 TD’s

1st Down:

Wes Welker:¬†28 receptions (targeted 37 times), 458 yards (16.4 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†19 receptions (targeted 24 times), 172 yards (9.1 YPC), 4 TD’s

2nd Down:

Wes Welker:¬†25 receptions (targeted 34 times), 323 yards (12.9 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 10 receptions (targeted 16 times), 146 yards (14.6 YPC), 1 TD

3rd Down:

Wes Welker: 11 receptions (targeted 20 times), 168 yards (15.3 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 4 receptions (targeted 10 times), 15 yards (3.8 YPC), 0 TD’s

RED ZONE RECEIVING:

Wes Welker:¬†11 receptions (targeted 13 times), 82 yards (7.5 YPC), 5 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 7 receptions (targeted 13 times), 52 yards (7.4 YPC), 5 TD’s

1ST DOWN RED ZONE: 

Aaron Hernandez:¬†5 receptions (targeted 7 times), 32 yards (6.4 YPC), 4 TD’s
Wes Welker:  4 receptions (targeted 4 times), 20 yards (5.0 YPC), 1 TD

2ND DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker:¬†4 receptions (targeted 4 times), 50 yards (12.5 YPC), 2 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez: 10 receptions (targeted 16 times), 146 yards (14.6 YPC), 1 TD

3RD DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 2 receptions (targeted 4 times), 6 yards (3.0 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 0 receptions (targeted 1 time), 0 yards, 0 TD

2011 FINAL 8 GAMES: 

Wes Welker:¬†56 receptions (targeted 80 times), 609 yards (10.9 YPC), 3 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:¬†46 receptions (targeted 63 times), 577 yards (12.5 YPC), 2 TD’s

1st Down:

Aaron Hernandez: 25 receptions (targeted 29 times), 288 yards (11.5 YPC), 1 TD
Wes Welker:¬†23 receptions (targeted 31 times), 284 yards (12.3 YPC), 2 TD’s

2nd Down:

Wes Welker: 18 receptions (targeted 25 times), 171 yards (9.5 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 13 receptions (targeted 21 times), 166 yards (12.8 YPC), 1 TD

3rd Down:

Wes Welker: 15 receptions (targeted 24 times), 154 yards (10.3 YPC), 0 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 7 receptions (targeted 12 times), 98 yards (14.0 YPC), 0 TD

RED ZONE RECEIVING:

Wes Welker: 6 receptions (targeted 7 times), 51 yards (8.5 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 5 receptions (targeted 11 times), 25 yards (5.0 YPC), 1 TD

1ST DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 1 reception (targeted 1 time), 10 yards (10 YPC), 0 TD’s
Aaron Hernandez:  
2 receptions (targeted 4 times), 4 yards (2 YPC), 0 TD’s

2ND DOWN RED ZONE: 

Wes Welker: 2 receptions (targeted 3 times), 7 yards (3.5 YPC), 1 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 1 reception (targeted 2 times), 1 yard (1.0 YPC), 1 TD

3RD DOWN RED ZONE:

Wes Welker: 3 receptions (targeted 3 times), 34 yards (11.3 YPC), 0 TD
Aaron Hernandez: 2 receptions (targeted 5 times), 20 yards (10.0 YPC), 0 TD

You can find more numbers in our Statistics Database, located via these links:

2010 Stats Database – CLICK HERE
2011 Stats Database – CLICK HERE