Welker's records go to waste in loss

542686.jpg

Welker's records go to waste in loss

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When a guy like Wes Welker breaks receiving records, you'd think it would be in a win.

No such luck.

Welker had a career-high 217 yards in New England's 34-31 loss to Buffalo on Sunday. That number is also a franchise-best, better than Terry Glenn's 1999 mark of 214. And his 16 catches tied Troy Brown's single-game total from 2002.

Blowing a 21-0 second-quarter lead en route to a divisional heartbreaker, however, isn't a great way to celebrate.

"It pretty much detracts everything. We lost the game," Welker said afterward. "What should be a great, fun day of breaking records and doing all those things has turned totally the opposite."

But Welker wasn't crying for himself and his two touchdown catches. He knows better than to dwell on individual effort -- good or bad. And there was a whole lot of bad for the good he did, anyway.

"I think the turnovers really killed us in the end," he said. "We were able to do some good things out there and moved the ball pretty well and things like that. We get in key positions, we can't turn the ball over and make some of those mistakes and pick sixes and different things like that. We didn't play very good complimentary football with each other."

Buffalo's 'D' had some excellent breaks against Tom Brady.

For all the yardage the Patriots quarterback racked up with Welker, he found trouble elsewhere. Brady threw four interceptions at Ralph Wilson Stadium -- as many as he had in the entire 2010 regular season. That number is a big reason why Welker's production went to waste.

"I think any time you turn the ball over, especially in some of the situations we were in, it's never good. It's never good for your psyche, it's never good for the team, it's never good for scoring points," Welker acknowledged.

He also made a point to reemphasize the team as a unit, and its responsibility for the loss.

"This isn't just on Tom," Welker said. "It's everybody getting on the same page and understanding that we're in this together and we all need to make plays and we're all accountable for it.

"Buffalo's a tough football team and they played really well," he said. "They kept fighting and you've got to give them all the credit."

Unfortunately for Welker, even after his tremendous night of work, everybody will.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

falcons_devonta_freeman_092616.jpg

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.