Julian Edelman goes wild (222 yards) and credits ‘complementary football’
|11.19.12 at 1:23 am ET|
FOXBORO — It was a play that symbolized just how huge of an impact Julian Edelman had in Sunday’s 59-24 win over the Colts at Gillette Stadium.
With the Patriots down 14-7 early in the second quarter, the Patriots defense found a way to stop Andrew Luck, who had led the Colts on a pair of TD drives to open up the game.
But Colts punter Pat McAfee hit a low line drive, the kind all punt returners love because the coverage team doesn’t have time to get in place. Edelman took it at his own 32 immediately ran upfield and then made a bee-line for the Patriots sideline, managing to tip-toe along it without stepping out of bounds. After he eluded Colts special teamer Jerry Hughes, he was home free for a touchdown that tied the game and gave the Patriots new life.
“I’ll tell you right now, we’ve been working real hard as a unit to get that done and create an explosion play on the punt return unit,” Edelman said. “Those guys, they’ve been working their tails off and they executed what they had to do—held up their guys—we got the gunners and as a punt returner you have to make one miss—and finish blocks and we did that. So it was a good overall execution of a play.”
But Edelman was far from done. He caught a four-yard TD pass to cap off New England’s opening drive of the second half, making it 31-17. Then, in the fourth quarter, he nearly made it a trifecta when he took a handoff from Tom Brady and raced around the right end for 47 yards, getting tackled just three yards shy of what would’ve been three touchdowns by three different methods.
Edelman finished with 222 total yards between his 47 rushing, 58 receiving on five catches and 117 on two punt returns.
“[I] had some opportunities to make some plays and was fortunate that it went my way,” an understated Edelman said. “We executed a few plays in special teams. [The] defense played well. We played overall a complementary football game. It was a good team win and we have a short week now and we have got to move on for the Jets.”
Edelman took advantage time and time again of plays in space on Sunday, as the defense gave him room to get open and he ran wild with the ball in his hands.
“It was quick hitting,” Edelman said of his chemistry with Brady. “I’m sure there were a bunch of things that we could have done better, but there always are and we made enough plays to win the game.”
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