Going into the season, it was reasonable to wonder how many passes would go Julian Edelman’s way.
Now, it’s hard to imagine where the Patriots would be without him.
The diminutive wideout was the only target Tom Brady could really trust last night, catching a career-high 13 passes in the 13-10 win over the Jets. He now has 20 catches in two games, one fewer than he had in 2012.
“I wasn’t even thinking about that,” Edelman said of being the top option. “Like I said, you’re just trying to think about beating your guy and getting open to catch the ball.”
While Thursday’s 13 catches went for a scant 78 yards, the numbers compared to the rest of the options showed his value.
As pointed out by Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com, Brady was 13-of-18 when passing to Edelman, and just 6-of-21 passing to everyone else on the roster. The non-Edelmans also dropped four passes.
They’re not going to go far when their top receiver averages 4.3 yards per target.
But in the absence of the injured Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski, and until the rookies grow up and become more trustworthy, they’re not going much of anywhere without Edelman.