Julian Edelman Back for the Playoffs!
The return of Julian Edelman gives the New England Patriots a much better feeling headed into this weekend as they hope to get back to their winning ways. According to Joe Amorosino of WHDH Boston, Edelman was cleared to play in the AFC Divisional round this Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff for that game is set for 4:35 p.m. EST.
As of late, the Patriots have not been playing their best football. They have dropped four of their last six games. That includes back-to-back defeats against a pair of AFC East rivals, the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, to cap off the regular season.
Edelman’s return should be huge for the Patriots because with him this season, the Patriots have not lost a game.Edelman broke a bone in his foot Week 10 in his team’s 27-26 win over the New York Giants. At that point, the Patriots were 9-0. The Patriots were without Edelman for the last seven weeks of the regular season. In that span, they went 3-4.Even with the time he has missed, Edelman still ranks second on the team in receiving yards (692) and touchdown receptions (seven). He also has the third most receptions (61) on the team this season.
In addition to his own production, Edelman will make quarterback Tom Brady’s job easier. Since he is their No. 1 receiver, he is not only another target for Brady, but he will give the Chiefs’ defense more to worry about.
With attention on Edelman, slot receiver Danny Amendola and tight end Rob Gronkowski should also have an easier time getting open. Not to mention Brady has another top tier target, so he should be able to get rid of the ball quicker which lessens his chances of being sacked.
And for Brady, getting the ball out quick will be key. The Patriots offensive line is weakened due to injury and the Chiefs have the 4th most sacks in the NFL this season, according to ESPN.
Edelman’s return also means that the Patriots might have a few trick plays they are ready to unleash. A read option quarterback at Kent State in college and the No. 3 quarterback on the Patriots’ depth chart, Edelman hit Amendola on a 51-yard touchdown double pass in their AFC Divisional playoff win over the Baltimore Ravens, 35-31, last season.
If the Patriots have any tricks like that in the playbook left, this might be the week to use them. The Chiefs have won their last 11 straight contests — after starting the season at a dreadful 1-5.
Julian Edelman cleared to play. @Edelman11 wearing steel plate in left shoe to prevent flexing & re-fracturing foot. #7News #Patriots
— Joe Amorosino (@joeamorosino) January 10, 2016