Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (83) runs with the ball against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond (28) during the first half in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Does Wes Welker really make that big of a difference?
Yes. Yes he does.
The Broncos are sorely missing Welker after two games with near second half debacles that led to a tie if not possibly a loss. Denver has held off the Colts and Chiefs now in two consecutive games on fourth down plays to essentially win the game. The offense has taken over in the victory formation nearly having peed their pants.
But the defense has been in bend-don’t-break mode and it’s gotten the Broncos to 2-0, which is all that really matters at this point. But I think there’s more to the story and I think the focal point of that story is the absence of Welker in the game plan.
Sure, Welker is getting older. Sure, he’s not the same Wes that was dominating in New England in his prime. And yes, Welker’s health is of clear concern at this point. But this is a player that set a career high in 2013 with 10 touchdown catches and helped the Broncos significantly in their efforts to be the top red zone scoring offense as well as the best team in the NFL at converting third downs.
The Broncos desperately need Welker underneath in their offense right now to open things up for the other playmakers. Peyton Manning clearly doesn’t have a comfort level with some of the other guys out there throwing balls over the middle, which the Broncos have hardly done at all in two games.
I know it might sound crazy, but I think the Broncos are really missing Wes Welker in a terrible way. Welker is likely to return in week three after his suspension being cut short by the league’s new, revised drug policy, and a matchup against the reigning Super Bowl Champions couldn’t provide a more perfect time for said return.
Welker’s ability to work underneath, over the middle, get open in clutch situations, and help the Broncos be so efficient on third down and in the red zone will significantly upgrade the Broncos’ offensive gameplan and allow them to be more efficient in the second half of games.
There’s really no simpler way to put it. I think the Broncos made an error on Sunday by not getting Cody Latimer some reps in the offense. I don’t really care how much more Andre Caldwell knows the calls or whatever it is. The Broncos needed someone like Latimer to be physical on the outside and after the catch. Caldwell dropped the pass that was thrown his way, and it came on a third down that would have been nice to move the chains, obviously.
I personally can’t wait to have Welker back, and I think it’s going to prove to be much bigger of a deal for the Broncos than we originally thought it was going to be.