By David Austin Bumpus 11/15/15
5-foot-10, 200 pound wide receiver Julian Edelman has made a huge impact for the Patriots despite his small size ever since his career began back in 2009. This year, Edelman’s stats have come up big for his 8-0 squad.
Edelman, the team’s number one receiver, is currently on pace to record season high numbers in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Through seven games, the Kent State graduate has 57 receptions for 639 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 11 yards a catch, the equivalent of averaging a first down with every reception.
The wideout’s best campaign was his 2013 season, where he finished with 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. Edelman has already surpassed his touchdown record, and is on pace to tally 114 receptions and 1,278 receiving yards, which would eclipse his best by nine catches and over 200 yards.
The receiver’s stats are definitely helpful for this strong offensive New England team, but Edelman’s contributions to the team reach past his high statistics. Edelman has become notorious for his perseverance and his clutch performances, most notable in the team’s Super Bowl XLIX win last February.
Edelman absorbed a huge helmet-to-helmet hit from Seattle Seahawks safety and Legion of Boom member Kam Chancellor on a key 3rd-and-14 play in the fourth quarter, and continued to play for the rest of the game. He finished the game with nine receptions for 109 yards, and caught the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the team’s 14-point comeback.
Edelman has become well-known for the hits he has taken and his ability to bounce back up from them, which has translated to the rest of New England’s players. His mental toughness has resonated with his teammates, and Edelman has become a leader more for his play than for his verbal commanding.
With the mix of leadership between vocal quarterback Tom Brady and the silent-but-deadly Edelman, the Patriots’ offense has become the best in the NFL. The team is pursuing a 16-0 season after Week 8 for the first time since their undefeated year in 2007, and Edelman’s success will be huge for the team if they hope to achieve perfection.