FOXBORO, Mass. — We’re out to do some New England Patriots myth-busting on Boxing Day.
Myth: New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is dropping passes at a higher rate this season.
This fact probably comes as a surprise to many Patriots fans and pundits who are panicking about Edelman’s perceived latest slew of drops. Edelman has five drops over his last five games and eight total on the season, according to Pro Football Focus. He has a 10.4 percent drop rate on catchable passes and an 8.1 percent drop rate overall. That’s actually relatively low compared to the rest of Edelman’s career.
Here’s Edelman’s drop rate throughout his career. Note: Edelman sparingly was used as a receiver from 2009 to 2012.
2018: 10.4 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 8.1 percent overall drop rate
2017: torn ACL
2016: 10.9 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 8.2 percent overall drop rate
2015: 10.3 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 8.2 percent overall drop rate
2014: 10.7 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 8.9 percent overall drop rate
2013: 11.0 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 8.9 percent overall drop rate
2012: 8.7 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 6.5 percent overall drop rate
2011: 0 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 0 percent overall drop rate
2010: 36.4 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 28.6 percent overall drop rate
2009: 7.5 percent drop rate on catchable passes, 6 percent overall drop rate
Edelman is dropping a lot of passes this season, but he’s always dropped a lot of passes.
Over the last six seasons, Edelman currently has his second lowest drop rate on catchable passes. He currently has his lowest overall drop rate since 2012, when he received just 31 targets.
Overall, Edelman is having a great season for the Patriots. He’s coming off a game in which he registered more than half the Patriots’ total receiving yards. He has the second highest rate of yards per game of his career, and if he hadn’t missed four games with a suspension, he already would have more than 1,000 receiving yards.
Edelman has been quarterback Tom Brady’s most consistent receiver since coming off the four-game suspension, and he hasn’t appeared to lose a step after coming off a torn ACL in 2017.
The 32-year-old’s drop rate over the last four games has been high. That has not been the case over the entirety of his season, however.
For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.