In the wake of his first game back, NFL Network released a video ranking their thoughts on the top 5 plays of Julian Edelman’s career SO FAR. While I definitely disagree with the numerical ranking of certain plays, these are some of the most electrifying single plays ever. Considering Edelman is technically labeled a wide receiver, it’s amazing that only 3 of these top 5 plays include receptions.
Even more amazing that this list doesn’t include any of the plays of Edelman playing defensive bank in 2011. My personal pick would have been his first tackle which injured Ladanian Tomlinson’s knee but that’s just because, obviously I hate LT.
But watching these plays and thinking about Edelman’s career has got me wondering, is he the most versatile player of this generation? I mean is there another player in the NFL that has played meaningful snaps at wide receiver, punt returner, quarterback AND defensive back all for the same team his entire career? It’s really poetry…
Anyways, here are the 5 plays NFL Network’s got. I don’t know if I could have narrowed it down to 5, so glad someone else did it for me.
#5 – The TD Pass
The #5 play on this list is my #1. Probably because I was at this game and it was the happiest moment of my life. I am the most negative person on planet earth, so when the Patriots went down 14 points TWICE in this game against the Ravens I had no hope. If I had any balls they would have been frozen off as this was the coldest game I’ve ever been to, but this play made it all worth it. I’ve never had more fun at Gillette Stadium than this day so I’m definitely partial. In case 3 million people haven’t mentioned it, Edelman is a college QB so as soon as I saw Amendola break free and Edelman pull back to throw I knew it was money. I love these 2 short white guys so fucking much (not as much as Wes Welker but…)
#4 – 94 Yard Punt Return
This is how Julian Edelman earned the title of best punt returner in NFL history and how he single handedly forced Wes Welker out of New England, so it’s a sensitive topic for me.
That being said I know the Pats are thin at punt returner and every time I see Cyrus Jones back there I get nauseous BUT if we see Edelman out to return one single punt tonight I’m going to have a meltdown. It’s not worth it.
This is just one of the many unbelievable punt return TD’s Edelman has ever had, and there have been a lot. The Denver one is 2014 especially comes to mind, but not sure if that’s because of the clips of Brady running to the end zone to support his guy. Heart eye emojis.
#3 – See Ya Cowboys
#3 is just a master class in footwork. This is the type of play I’m curious Edelman can still handle after the ACL surgery. Just juking and making every single defender miss. Probably ran a total of 100 yards between going back and forth to get to the end zone. I’d say maybe the 77 TD against the Dolphins that included the epic block by Mike Floyd might be better than this, but on pure Edelman skills, the NFL is right, this one is better.
#2 – Super Bowl Highlight Before THE Super Bowl Highlight
When the top 2 plays of your career are clutch catches from 2 Super Bowl wins, I’d say you’re having a pretty good career. Gonna ignore the title of this video but this catch (on a LASER from Brady), is a good indicator of why the Patriots are so desperate to have him back. 3rd and 14 and you need a first down? Who else? Incredelman
#1 – Obviously
As the biggest Wes Welker plan on the planet, this catch forced me to utter the statement that Julian Edelman is clutch, and Wes Welker is not. It erased years of pain for Patriots fans. We finally had our helmet catch, our Mario Manningham catch, and it only would have made it sweeter had it come against the Giants. We’ll always have 28-3 jokes though, and Julian Edelman should never pay for a meal round these parts ever again.
Officially, welcome back Jules. All feels right again.