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Welker sets receptions record

12/28/2009

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker broke his own franchise season record for receptions during Sunday's 35-7 shellacking of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.

Welker caught all 13 passes thrown his way, bringing his season total to 122 receptions with one game to go in the 2009 campaign.

Welker previously set the mark with 112 grabs in 2007, then caught 111 passes last year.

"No, I never envisioned [this]," Welker said when asked if he thought he'd put up such lofty numbers when he joined New England. "I knew my numbers would probably go up just having [quarterback] Tom [Brady] and the type of offense we're in and things like that. I never knew it would be like this. Definitely, I'm very blessed to be a Patriot and to be here. Hopefully, we'll just keep it going."

Despite missing two games this year, Welker set the franchise mark with a 3-yard reception midway through the second quarter Sunday. He finished with a game-high 138 yards receiving, his seventh 100-yard game of the season and 14th of his career.

With his seventh 10-plus reception game of the season, Welker tied the NFL record set by Andre Johnson last year. It was the 11th time in his career he reached double digits for receptions in a game.

"As a receiver you never want to feel like you're open or you're covered or anything like that," said Welker. "That's not really my mindset. My mindset is trying to win somehow. Whether it's double covered or safety over the top or whatever it is. It's always working hard to try to get Tom an option to go to."

Averaging 9.4 receptions per game, Welker is on pace to finish at around 131 receptions if he plays all of next week's game, which would place him second all-time in NFL history. Marvin Harrison holds the record with 143 catches in 2002.

Given the time missed by Welker, he stands to challenge Harrison's catches-per-game average (8.9 per contest).