Can Wes Welker Have the Same Impact Without Randy Moss?

Ronnie HampstonCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as Leon Hall #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals defends during the NFL season opener on September 12, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 38-24.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Randy Moss was traded today by the New England Patriots. This was a very bold move by Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick.

Now the Patriots have to rely on Wes Welker to be their No. 1 receiver. Welker benefited from playing with Moss. Not taking anything away from Welker, but playing in the slot going against nickle corners and linebackers was a lot easier than taking on triple coverage as Moss did.

Opposing teams would roll their coverages and double team Moss and let Welker work underneath in the slot. Welker is no game breaker by any means, but he is a receiver that moves the chains. Now that Moss is out of the fold Welker will be suffocated by defenses every Sunday.

It will be hard to use Welker in the same role by having him in the slot. Welker has had consecutive 100 catch seasons, but that will be coming to abrupt end with the loss of Moss.

The Patriots will struggle a lot on the offensive end. The Pats lack a strong running game and now they are thin at the wide receiver position. Rookie Tight Ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have bright futures ahead of them, but they will not free up Welker as Moss did. Tom Brady will go back to his old philosophy of passing the ball to the open man, but Welker will be blanketed by the opposing teams top cornerback.

The New England Patriots won three Super Bowls without a star receiver, but during those years the Pats had a strong 3-4 Defense and a strong running game to match the clutch play of Brady.

Welker will be hurt by the trade more than anyone on the Pats roster. Welker will still be a quality receiver, but he will not be an elite receiver. The Patriots took Moss for granted as they took Richard Seymour for granted. New England are still searching for a replacement for Seymour. A replacement for Moss will be hard to find as well.

Bill Belichick is a mastermind in the game of football, but this decision is a head scratcher.

Memo to Welker: The pressure is on to produce. Welker himself stated that his knee is not 100 percent so that creates another burden on No. 83. Welker will not be the same player without Moss streaking up and down the field.

The Pats have a bye this week so they will have time to game plan without their star wideout. Life without Moss begins next Sunday we shall see how Welker responds.