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New England Patriots Links 10/12/09 - Broncos Over Pats 20-17 in OT Win

Erik Scalavino notes Welker's and Brady's take on the 4th quarter missed opportunity on third-and-three from their own 28-yard line, with just over four minutes remaining, the score tied at 17, and the Patriots offense driving.

[Welker] was supposed to run a short comeback-route and pick up the first down. But with all that real estate in front of him, the obvious adjustment was to keep running.  He swiveled his head back to his right, expecting to see Tom Brady's pass sailing toward him.  Welker was Brady’s intended target all along, but the QB threw to the spot where he expected his receiver to be because Brady hadn’t read the adjustment the way Welker had.

"I can’t really go out there and freelance like that," he said contritely. "[Brady’s] expecting me to take so many steps … I can’t put him in a spot like that. I have to make sure we get the first down and then go from there."

"I was expecting him to do something different, he was expecting me to do something different … that’s why it looked the way it looked," Brady added. "We just gotta get on the same page."

Gene Wojciechowski notes this was more than 'just a game' for McDaniels and Belichick.

If it didn't matter so much, McDaniels would have never made a beeline for the Patriots' team buses after he was done with his postgame news conference. That's where he found Brady. And if this was just another game, Belichick himself would have never stopped by McDaniels' office to congratulate him on the victory.

Unlike the great Eric Mangini-Belichick cold-shoulder-fest, it seems the Patriots (and Belichick) still have a soft spot for McDaniels. If not, they deserve acting awards for the way they greeted him at the team buses. Our own Mike Reiss, who covers the Patriots for ESPN, had it right when he said Belichick's postgame demeanor was something like "This sucks, but if I'm going to lose, at least it's to this guy."