Watson Steps Up
AP Photo/John Amis

Posted Sep 17, 2009

Benjamin Watson has heard the criticism, but he's determined to shrug it off. He did just that on Monday Night when he caught not one, but two crucial touchdown passes to lift New England to a last minute victory over the Buffalo Bills.

TE Ben Watson dropped a few catchable passes early in the game against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night, but came through the Patriots needed him the most with two big touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It was the third time in Watson's career he had multiple touchdown receptions; Cleveland 2007, Miami 2005.

Watson faced harsh criticism for dropping passes in the past. his struggles led some to believe he would be traded or released prior to the 2009 season. Watson survived the shakeup at tight end and remains the only tight end from last season to return. The Patriots also have Chris Baker and Michael Matthews on the roster.

" I think having a tight end like Ben [Watson] helps Randy [Moss] and Wes [Welker] and the running backs because he can draw coverage too," said Patriots QB Tom Brady of Watson's performance. "When they don’t account for him, you throw him the ball, like we did there at the end."

The challenge for Watson now is to prove he can become the receiver the team envisioned when they drafter him in the first round in 2004.

Brady believes Watson can be that guy and was pleased with what he saw from his teammate.

"I tried to throw it high on his back shoulder and he just went up and made a phenomenal catch, so I told him it was the best catch I’ve ever seen him make," Brady said. "Hopefully there’re a lot more of those in store."

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