In this weekend’s AFC Championship Game, what’s probably lost amid all the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady hoopla is the fact that Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker is looking to earn himself another trip to the Super Bowl in his first season in Denver at the expense of his old team, the New England Patriots.
Despite some concussion issues this season, the chemistry between Manning and Welker has been right around what we expected it to be. Going from one future Hall of Fame quarterback to the next is a blessing.
But, how do the exact stats for Welker pair up against one another from when he was with Brady to now with Manning.
ESPN Stats and Info took a look at that, and not surprisingly, his yards per reception are right around the same. Welker averaged 11.1 with Brady, while now he’s averaging 10.7 with Manning.
Where the real significant difference comes in, however, is what matters the most in the end, and that’s putting the ball in the end zone.
Welker’s avg yds per rec as a Bronco is roughly the same as when he was a Patriot, but he’s catching TDs more often pic.twitter.com/v2apJJj8L2
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2014
This can be pretty easily explained by the fact that there are a lot more weapons in Denver for Manning to get the ball to than there was for Brady. In New England, Welker was the go-to-guy, whereas in a Broncos uniform, Welker is sometimes a third–and maybe even fourth–option.