Struggling Offense Overshadowing Julian Edelman

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In a season marred by inconsistency and frustration, there has been very little to get excited about with the New England Patriots offense.  However, there is a certain individual whose effort and performance has been borderline heroic, and should not go unnoticed. That is Julian Edelman. 


Photo courtesy of nbcsports.com

At 33 years old, and in his 10th season, Edelman is on pace to set career-highs in catches, yards and touchdowns this year.  Now, you might say that those numbers are inflated because the other options for Tom Brady are limited, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong.  However, I'd counter that because of that, he's likely at the centerpiece of most opponent's defensive gameplans, and he has still managed to produce.

Find great gifts for NFL fans at NFLShop.comEdelman needs 16 catches, 97 yards and two touchdowns over the final three games, in order to set new career highs.  He is currently third in the league in catches, eighth in yards and second in targets.  There are 20 players who have been targeted at least 100 times this season.  The average reception rate, is 66.54%.  Edelman is at 66.7; meaning he has caught approximately two-thirds of the passes thrown his way. 

He's also been doing all of this at less than 100%.  It is clear he is not fully healthy.  He suffered a rib injury in Week 3 against the New York Jets, and hasn't been healthy since.  The rib may have healed, but now he's nursing some sort of shoulder injury, and who knows what else.  You can see it every time he gets hit, or gets up from the ground. 

He's in pain, he's wincing.  He's grabbing at his shoulder.  Edelman's individual effort needs to be recognized.  Through all of this, he has missed just two quarters of football.  He realizes that the team really can't afford for him to be out there.  Could you imagine what this would look like without him?  I'm dry-heaving just thinking about it. 

Despite being bruised and battered, it's not affecting his play.  He's still very much a focal point of the offense.  He's still running those same crossing routes, catching balls in traffic, taking hits and taking them with a smile. 

Everytime he gets hit, I just hope he gets up.  I wonder how much more the guy can take, and honestly, there may not be a limit.  The guy seems to love the contact.  He has no regard for his body.  Edelman is a lunatic, but he is our lunatic, and I wouldn't want anybody else.

Take some time to appreciate what he has done this year.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Struggling Offense Overshadowing Julian Edelman
Struggling Offense Overshadowing Julian Edelman
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