FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- He was his team's leading receiver and scored his team's only touchdown of the game, but New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker will still have a sour taste following his team's loss in the AFC Championship game on Sunday.
Fair or not, Welker's performance will be overshadowed by a third-down pass that hit Welker in the chest but fell out of his grasp, negating a would-be first down.
The play, which came early in the third quarter, was a key turning point, as the Patriots punted from the Baltimore Ravens' 34-yard line on the next play, with the Ravens scoring a go-ahead touchdown on their ensuing drive.
"Just a missed opportunity," Welker stated after the game.
Welker led Patriots receivers with 117 yards on eight receptions. He was also involved in the three longest plays of the game for New England.
After the first, a 24-yard catch in the second quarter, Welker appeared to injure his ribs, later talking to team medical personnel on the sideline.
"I was fine," Welker said.
For Welker and the Patriots, it's their second consecutive crushing playoff defeat, after losing Super Bowl XLVI last season. Among the notable plays in that game, like Sunday, was a critical drop by Welker.
And for better or worse, that means Welker has been through this before, and will approach it the same way, he said.
"The sun will come up tomorrow," Welker said. "Just try to move on."
For more on Welker, read James Walker's AFC East blog post by CLICKING HERE.