Monday, September 17, 2012

Eighty-Third Avenue Freeze Out?

One would have thought the fact yesterday's 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals is the first time in memory special teams (blocked punt, missed field goal) are the main reason a Bill Belichick Patriots team lost a game would have been what would've sent the professional teeth-gnashers among fans and commentators into joyous frenzies of anguish.  But that crowd can't even be irrational in a correct fashion.

No, the Mt. Everest of nonsense molehills this Monday is about Wes Welker's role in the Pats' offense, or lack thereof. Welker is being converted to a bit part, part-time role player, or so we're informed, for motives ranging from deep strategy to inexplicable to delightfully stupid accusations of malevolence.

For record if the Pats continue to ignore Welker the way they did yesterday, he'll finish the season with roughly 80 catches and almost 1500 yards gained.That is exactly the number of balls caught in 2011 by Falcons Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. It's also exactly the number caught last season by Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald. For that matter, Fitzgerald, whose picture is next to All-Pro in the dictionary, had one reception for four yards yesterday. Did he run over Kevin Kolb's cat at a team picnic?

No matter how much football they watch, some people have trouble understanding that the other team's defense has considerable say in how much an individual runner or receiver participates in his team's offense. That is a truth I've come to accept.

But the Welker weirdness reveals another, more sinister truth. It won't be global warming that lays this great Republic low. It'll be innumeracy.


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