For the second time, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 in an upset at the 2012 Super Bowl late Sunday. In a close game, fatal errors cost the Tom Brady-led Patriots the game, including one crucial drop by wide receiver Wes Welker. Did Welker's drop cost the Patriots the 2012 Super Bowl?
With four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots were leading 17 to 15. Welker was wide open and 20 yards from the end zone when Brady sent the ball his way. Known as one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL, Welker had two hands on the ball before dropping it and falling to the ground.
It's one of those plays I made 1,000 times, Welker told reporters after the game. I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made 1,000 times in practice and everything else. It comes to be the biggest moment of my life and I don't come up with it. It's discouraging.
Throughout his career, Welker has gained a reputation as a stellar wide receiver. He led the NFL with receptions in 2007, 2009 and 2011. In addition to holding the four highest single-season receptions in the Patriots' history, Welker has the record number of receptions in a single game in NFL history, with at least 110 receptions in any three seasons and 122 receptions this season.
So, what happened to the wide receiver on Sunday? No one knows, not even him.
Yeah it hit me in the hands, he admitted. I mean it's a play I never drop. I always make. Most critical situation and I let the team down.
Despite his fumble Sunday, Welker has not lost the confidence of the Patriots' quarterback.
I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possibly can, Brady told reporters. I love that guy.
After all, Welker does not deserve all the blame for the Patriots' Super Bowl loss. It was only 2nd-and-11 when Welker made his fateful mistake in the fourth quarter. The Patriots failed to convert on 3rd-and-11th and were then forced to punt allowing the Giants to win a touchdown in the last minute of the game.
Fans, however, were less forgiving of Welker's mistake and many crucified him on Twitter.
Congratulations to Wes Welker and the New York Giants!! Twitter user thesulk wrote late Sunday.
'Collinsworth: Welker makes that catch 100 out of a 100 times.' No, Chris, he doesn't, CBS baseball insider Jon Heyman tweeted.
Wes Welker's short whiteness may be catching up with him, TheFakeESPN tweeted after Welker's fateful drop.
Welker played college football at Texas Tech and initially started his career as an undrafted free agent for the San Diego Chargers in 2004. After the Chargers released Welker, he signed with the Miami Dolphins later that year. In 2007, Welker was traded to the Patriots and has played for the team ever since.
Watch Wes Welker’s Drop at the 2012 Super Bowl: