FOXBORO – When Wes Welker hit the streets looking for a better offer, and the Patriots immediately signed Danny Amendola, the script was written.
What Amendola did in Welker’s stead would be the measure of whether or not the Patriots made the right call.
Seen through that narrow lens, Welker’s had a better season in Denver than Amendola’s had in New England. Welker’s got 65 catches for 679 yards and 9 touchdowns in 11 games. Amendola’s got 32 for 358 and one touchdown in seven games
Sunday night, neither player was outstanding . Welker caught 4 passes for 31 yards and dropped a pair. Amendola caught 3 for 17 yards and dropped one.
But when the question is, “How have the Patriots done in replacing Welker’s production in the slot?” the answer is that it hasn’t been a problem.
Because while Amendola was being held in check, Julian Edelman -- also working out of the slot frequently -- caught 9 balls for 110 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown came when he was lined up in the slot on the same side as Amendola. His second touchdown came when he was lined up short on the right side. He nearly had a third touchdown on another route from the slot but Tom Brady misfired.
For the season, Edelman’s got 61 catches for 610 yards and four touchdowns. Matches up pretty closely to Welker’s 65 and 679, doesn’t it?
Shhhh. Don’t let anyone else know. It’ll ruin the storyline.