Another layer on Welker v. Edelman

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
9:40
AM ET
Re-watched the Patriots-Cardinals game on Monday, and one point of emphasis was trying to get a better feel for the plays that Julian Edelman was on the field over Wes Welker.

The Patriots were in their 2 WR/2 TE/1 RB grouping 18 times in the game, and Edelman was the second receiver on 15 of those plays, with Welker on for 3.

Of Edelman's 15 snaps over Welker in that grouping, three can really be thrown out because they came at the end of the game when the Patriots were setting up the final field-goal attempt (2 Brady sneaks; 1 Brady spike).

So we're basically talking about 12 plays of Edelman over Welker and here was the breakdown:

Rushes: 7 for 47 yards (6.7 avg.)
Passes: 3 of 4 for 19 yards, INT, sack

Edelman was involved as a blocker on three solid runs (Stevan Ridley for 20, 12 and 10 yards), but it seems like a stretch to say that his role as a run-blocker would be the main reason he was on the field over Welker. It might be a factor, but probably not the factor.

Don't think any definitive conclusion can be drawn from these numbers, other than to add more context to the discussion.

It's not as if the offense fell apart when Edelman was on the field over Welker.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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