Patriots

Reflecting on a Record: Welker hits 100 receptions for fifth time

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Reflecting on a Record: Welker hits 100 receptions for fifth time

Slightly lost in last Sundays failed comeback and the "Should the Pats tank the last two games?" debate that's followed was a pretty ridiculous record set by New England's Mustachioed Marauder, AKA Wesley Carter Welker.

In case you missed, although you probably didnt, with his 12-yard reception in the fourth quarter of Sundays game, Welker became the first player in NFL history to register five 100 reception seasons.

Lets take a second and breath that in:

FIRST. RECEIVER. EVER.

He now has one more 100-catch seasons than Jerry Rice. One more than Marvin Harrison. Two more than Herman Moore. Three more than Cris Carter. Four more than Larry Centers and FIVE MORE THAN TONY SIMMONS.

Thats absolutely unbelievable.

Seriously, take just one more second and breath it in. Inhale it like you're Snoop Lion (nee: Dogg) right before a big show:

FIRST. RECEIVER. EVER.

Of course, Welker's achievement is at least somewhat a product of the changing face of the NFL game. As offenses continue to evolve and passing records continue to fall (of the top 15 single-season passing totals, 11 have occurred since 2000), it's only natural for the receivers to start reaping some record-breaking benefits. So while Welker might be the first guy in more than 90 years of NFL football with five 100-catch seasons, it shouldn't be long before he has some company.

For instance, Brandon Marshalls only 28 years old and has four 100 catch seasons (including this one). Andre Johnson needs only seven catches over his last two games for his fourth 100 catch season. Reggie Wayne only needs three more catch for his fourth.

Then again, it's hard to imagine that Welker's done either. Before he hangs them up, he could have six or seven or who knows? Even nine 100 catch seasons under his belt.

The only question is which uniform he'll have tucked into that belt, and honestly, at this point, there's no use in really speculating. Obviously, if you ask any New England fan, or probably, any player in that Pats locker room, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't want No. 83 back for another few years. We all know what he brings to this team. We all know how much he deserves a deal. BUT we also know that once Bill Belichick makes up his mind about something especially when that "something" pertains a player's value there's usually no convincing him otherwise.

Anyway, like I said, we've got another few weeks hopefully another six before that issue comes back into play. For now, we'll just take another second and breathe in the wonders of Welker, and hope that it won't be long before he's got a shiny ring to go along with that ridiculous 'stache.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on its own feel, its own flavor and - eventually - its own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”

Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

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Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

The Patriots will be without center David Andrews on Sunday when they play the Raiders in Mexico City. Andrews, who hasn’t all practice all week with an illness, is one of four Pats listed as out on the injury report released Friday.

MORE PATRIOTS

Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who didn’t play last week against the Broncos is also out, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Offensive linemen Ted Karras and Joe Thuney each took reps at center so one of them will likely start in Andrews’ absence. LaAdrian Waddle filled in for Cannon and performed well last week vs. Denver. 

Here’s the full injury report for the Patriots and Raiders: