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What is the Impact of a Welker-less New England Patriots?

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via <a href="http://patsblog.projo.com/welker1226.jpg">patsblog.projo.com</a>
via patsblog.projo.com

There are many possible reasons for Sunday's 9-16 loss to the New York Jets. Blitzing and pass rushing by the Jets' D, poor special teams play, numerous dropped balls, and a little rust from Wonderboy, Tom Brady. I don't believe, in most cases, one player can win or lose a game. I believe players can make big plays or commit grave errors CONTRIBUTING to the game's outcome, but they don't necessarily, on their own, determine the outcome of a game.

In some cases, rare cases, a single player makes so many positive plays that he is hard to ignore, that he might approach the level of game changer. The little engine that can, Wes Welker, is one of those players. Sidelined for the Jets matchup with a "knee injury", Wes was sorely missed. Why? Welker is Brady's safety valve, his check down receiver, and one of his favorite screen guys.

When in trouble, when all of his receivers are covered, he knows Welker's there to take the "long handoff", to make something out of nothing and, quite possibly, move the chains for us. Did the lack of Welker's presence hurt the Pats? Could he have changed the outcome for us? Let's hear it.