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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bill O’Brien says drop not Wes Welker’s fault, didn’t cost Patriots Super Bowl

A full month has passed since the Patriots suffered a heart-breaking loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, but the sting has yet to completely subside in the Boston area. Patriot nation is still playing the blame game. Some blame Bill Belichick while others point Tom Brady’s inability to to step up on the game’s biggest stage. Many others have blamed Wes Welker, who dropped a crucial pass in the fourth quarter that could have sealed a win for New England. Over the weekend, Former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said the scrutiny Welker has faced is completely unfair.

“That wasn’t a drop,” O’Brien said according to the Boston Globe. “That would have been a tremendous catch, and he should never think twice about that. And it had nothing to do with us losing the game. There were many, many plays before that where we could have made better coaching decisions, and better plays. That’s just one play of many.”

In a certain sense, O’Brien is right. Players always face harsher backlash in a media like Boston’s when they screw something up, but that would have been a highlight-reel catch for Welker. He certainly didn’t deserve to be mocked with 900 pounds of Butterfingers.

On the other hand, that’s a catch Welker should have made — and one he will likely make every other time he gets an opportunity. No one play ever loses a game just as no one play ever wins a game. If you’re going to say Welker deserves less scrutiny for the drop, you’re also saying David Tyree deserves less credit for the helmet catch. That play kept the Giants alive, but every play before it contributed to the win. Welker’s drop just happens to be one of the more memorable lowlights from a dark day in New England.

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