Julian Edelman’s career with the New England Patriots was full of memorable plays and moments, but for the recently retired wide receiver, a few stand out above the rest.
Edelman joined Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take” for a wide ranging interview posted Wednesday, and he was asked about the play from his 11-year career with the Patriots that personifies who he was as a football player.
His answer? A clutch catch late in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks.
“I loved the 3rd-and-14 against the Seattle Seahawks when Tom (Brady) hit me across the middle and Kam Chancellor put a little heat on me and hit me hard,” Edelman said. “That whole week going into that game, all we kept hearing was the ‘Legion of Boom’ and ‘No Fly Zone’ and this and that.
“That was a cool moment when I knew I got his best and I was able to get up and go, and then make (another) play on the next couple plays, like, hey, we’re here to play. We might not be the flashy skill position group. We’re not the ‘Legion of Boom’, we’re not this — and I have nothing but respect for those guys, those guys were studs. Earl Thomas, (Richard Sherman) and Chancellor — but that was my play that I love.
“That’s hard-nosed football right there. When I transferred to receiver it was always, ‘Can you make the catch over the middle?’ And that was the catch over the middle in the biggest moment. That was a fun play.”
(Watch the play at the 9:07 mark in the video below)
That catch by Edelman was one of the most important in the history of the Patriots.
They were trailing 24-14 with 10:58 remaining in the fourth quarter against one of the best defenses in modern NFL history. New England was facing a 3rd-and-14 on its own 28-yard line, so if Edelman dropped the ball after the huge hit by Chancellor, the outcome of the game could have been far different.
Edelman gained 21 yards on the catch, and six plays later Brady hit Danny Amendola for a touchdown to trim the Seahawks’ lead to 24-21. Edelman hauled in the go-ahead touchdown reception on the Patriots’ next possession to put them up 28-24.
Edelman had several other memorable playoff moments, including the iconic reception late in the historic Super Bowl LI comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. He also was named Super Bowl LIII MVP in New England’s 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams during the 2018 season.
In a career defined by determination and toughness, it’s not a surprise that the 3rd-and-14 reception versus the Seahawks means a lot to Edelman. It paints a great picture of how hard he worked on his craft and the ability he had to deliver in important moments.