When you’re able to run the ball effectively, that definitely opens things up in the passing game.
Welker finished with over 100 yards receiving, largely in part thanks to his 73 yard reception on Sunday against the Jets. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker admitted that much after Sunday’s 30-21 win over the Jets on Sunday. After the game Welker attributed the 73-yard reception he had to start the second half happened largely in part because they had been so effective running the ball in the first half.
Welker said that he came out to block the same way he had on the previous running plays, and the safety bit. From there, he was gone.
“It was one of those plays where the safety was a little over aggressive, and we run a similar type play and ran the ball,” said Welker after the game. “So I kind of got a feel for what that safety was doing. I went down and kind of acted like I was going to block him, and then took off on it. Tom made a good throw, and hopefully next time I can just finish that out.”
Welker broke through over the top and was off and running, but unfortunately Darrelle Revis caught him from behind and was able to take him down short of the endzone.
“I mean anytime you can run the ball it’s going to set up some play-action type deals and things like that, which is what happened with that first play of the second half,” said Welker. “Anytime you’re running the ball, and vice-versa, being able to throw it, and that’s going to help out the running game. Both of those have to be on the same page, and make sure that we’re doing everything possible to try and move the ball whether it’s run or pass.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said after the game that the play action was key on that play because it gave Welker a chance to get in between Revis and Eric Smith, and it nearly sprung him for a touchdown.
“He split Revis and, I think the safety was Smith, so I’m not sure whether they were combo’ing that because the tight end blocked or….somebody obviously got caught short,” said Belichick. “Tom [Brady] put it out there…you know we had a couple other chances today where we were behind the defense, and we just overthrew them by a yard or so.
“I think we’ve got to keep taking those shots, you’re not going to hit all of them, I mean you want to, but, we hit one, we’ve hit them in other weeks and if they want to come down and clamp us, then we’ve got to be able to go over the top. It was a great throw, Wes made a heck of a play, that was a huge play in the game.”
Brady admitted after the game that the running game is something they need to be focused on in the coming weeks as they look to win another home game before their bye week next weekend.
“Well, we need to do it,” said Brady regarding running the ball. “We’ve got to run the ball. If they put a lot of db’s out there, then we’ve got to run it. If they put big guys in, we’ve still got to run it. You just can’t throw the ball every single down against these guys, they make it too tough.
“But I thought we could have done better running the ball, we could have done better passing the ball, so we’ll try to make some improvements and move on to the Cowboys.”