By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The receptions record Wes Welker tied on Sunday was set by Troy Brown on September 22, 2002. Brown caught 16 passes against Kansas City and might've had more but he was hurt on that final reception, which came with 7:27 left in the game.
Taylor Price? You're time is nigh.
Vince Wilfork beat feet out of the locker room Sunday. He and safety Sergio Brown were on their way out before the media even got in. Chad Ochocinco looked like his left shoulder was killing him as he put on his shirt after the game. He dismissed a question about whether it was injured. Ocho's egregious drop came with 8:18 left in the game. New England needed almost five more minutes to complete that drive and tie it with a fourth-down reception by Welker. In other words, the maddening final three minutes when the Patriots saw Buffalo go into a stall and kill their chance for one last possession? Trace it to Ocho. There comes a point where we all stop nodding and sympathizing about how incredibly hard it must be to process an NFL playbook and a sophisticated passing offense. That time came Sunday when Ocho needed a guide dog to get lined up on a few plays, rounded off his routes and dropped throws flag football receivers all over the USA were hauling in on Sunday morning. Last week was the first time Ochocinco got surly with the media. He said on Wednesday he wasn't talking because the media thinks it has all the answers. Randy Moss got docked 25K for refusing to talk to the media in Minnesota last year. It was the same thing he pulled in New England but we never made a big deal of it. Had this passing statistic up on last week's Quick Slants. On the list of single-season passing leaders, you have to go all the way to the 34th most prolific single-season passer to find a guy who won a Super Bowl throwing for stupid yards (Peyton Manning, 2006). Tom Brady is on pace to shatter the record set by Dan Marino in 1984 (5,084). Brady had thrown for 1,327 through three games and is on a pace to throw for 7,077 yards. The observation that the Patriots can't cover has been made repeatedly. We need to get to the why of it. Here are the reasons: 1) No pressure from four-man rush means that a man-to-man playing secondary is going to get roasted; 2) awful man-to-man technique from corners at the line of scrimmage; 3) the secondary plays scared. Bills receiver David Nelson was very good talking about the difficulties of playing man-to-man, which is something the Patriots have done more of this season. Read that stuff here. I'm on record as saying Wes Welker is brilliant at what he does but not unique -- slot receivers with similar skills exist. I now add this caveat: his physical and mental toughness, comeptitiveness and chemistry with Tom Brady do make him unique. What could Sergio Brown have done differently to avoid the end zone pass interference call that killed the Pats Sunday? Simply put his hands up and made Nelson fight through him to get back to the ball; hugging is never a solid option. The Patriots' linebackers have got to do a better job in coverage. Through three games, running backs have caught 29 passes for 276 yards on them. Nobody wants to hear about it but the absence of Myron Pryor, Mike Wright, Albert Haynesworth and Patrick Chung on Sunday was a big deal. No pressure in the middle of the defensive line; poor tackling at the back. Seeing Robert Kraft chatting with urban Meyer at the West Virginia-LSU game on Saturday brought to mind a murmur I heard a year or two ago. That when Bill Belichick's had enough of coaching, he'll move upstairs and Meyer will be his on-field successor. Richard Seymour figures to be highly motivated this week. First chance to meet up with the team that traded him back in 2009. My theory that the lockout would cause offenses to lag behind defenses in the early part of the season? Bad theory. Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran