Julian Edelman’s playoff legend was built on the double pass to Danny Amendola, the fourth-quarter eruption against the Seahawks, and the diving, double-clutch miracle of a reception in the closing minutes against the Falcons.
And then Edelman’s playoff legend was put on hold.
As the Patriots fell short in last year’s Super Bowl, Edelman was in the midst of his ACL rehab, not quite five months removed from surgery. He’s been itching for postseason football ever since.
“He lives it,” said Patriots receiver Phillip Dorsett. “He’ll die for it. He’s one of those guys. We’ve got a lot of guys like that in this locker room, honestly. I think that’s why we do so well sometimes.”
Edelman has kept a low profile the past few days, at least when the locker room has been open to reporters. He’s been omnipresent on social media, kicking off Chargers week with a “Beat LA” hype video. He’s carried the enthusiasm to work, occasionally providing a not-so-subtle reminder of the enormity of this weekend. He’ll walk around the facility shouting “Playoff Week!” to anyone within earshot, said teammate Matthew Slater.
This isn’t much different than regular-season Edelman, who according to Slater will spend the week intermittently yelling, “Trap Game!” or whatever phrase he sees fit.
Playoff Edelman does crank it up a notch, though. That’s what the numbers suggest.
Since the 2014 postseason, a run that began with the Patriots’ epic comeback against Baltimore and ended with Edelman shredding the Seattle secondary (and absorbing a few crushing blows along the way), he’s averaged 97 receiving yards per game in the playoffs. For comparison, Edelman has averaged 70.9 receiving yards in the regular season during the same span.