His choice was somewhat surprising.
Although Edelman’s gravity-defying catch against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, his game-winning touchdown grab against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX and his double-pass TD to Danny Amendola in the divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens all come to mind, the recently retired New England Patriots wide receiver pointed to a crucial play that often gets lost in the shuffle.
We’re talking about his fourth-quarter catch on third-and-14 with the Patriots trailing the Seahawks 24-14 in Super Bowl XLIX. The play resulted in a 21-yard gain — extending a drive that culminated with a New England touchdown — and a huge hit from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor.
“I loved the third-and-14 against the Seattle Seahawks when Tom (Brady) hit me late across the middle and Kam Chancellor put a little heat on me and hit me hard,” Edelman said. “That whole week going into that game, all we kept on hearing was the ‘Legion of Boom,’ the ‘No-Fly Zone,’ the this, the that. That was a cool moment when I knew I got (Chancellor’s) best and I was able to get up and go and then make a play in the next couple plays. Like, hey, we’re here to play.
“We may not be the flashy skill-position group, we’re not the Legion of Boom, we’re not this — which, I have nothing but respect for those guys. Those guys were studs — Earl Thomas, Sherm (Richard Sherman), friggin’ Chancellor. But that was one of the things. That was my play that I love. That’s hard-nosed football right there. When I transferred to receiver, it was always, ‘Can you make the catch over the middle?’ And that was the catch over the middle in the biggest moment. That was a fun play.”
Edelman made another 21-yard reception four plays later to set up a touchdown strike to Amendola, which cut New England’s deficit to 24-21. He then, as mentioned, caught what proved to be the game-winning TD from Brady with 2:02 remaining, a precursor to Malcolm Butler’s goal-line interception in the final minute.
Many folks in the moment thought Edelman was concussed on the massive blow by Chancellor. But he insists he wasn’t despite looking a little wobbly upon getting to his feet.
“I definitely got smoked,” Edelman concedes. ” … I don?t think I had a concussion.”
Edelman, a three-time Super Bowl champion, retired last week after 12 NFL seasons, all with New England.