Julian Edelman is going off this year.
The diminutive WR (I can say that I’m the same size as him) is still in his prime at 34. Yes, he is at the end of it, but as last year showed, he is still great.
Julian’s production, Tom’s play, and a young quarterback will all contribute to another stellar season for Jules.
Julian Peaked in 2019
Edelman’s best season so far was his 10th and last with Tom. Julian put up a 100 – 1117 – 6 stat line. All 3 main receiving categories were at or next to top in his career.
Julian was able maintain his production for 3 reasons:
One, he maintains peak physical form. Julian is a workout maniac. He is even teaching us how to work out like him now!
Two, Tom Brady did not trust his receivers besides Julian. This is a well known fact.
Three, the Patriots running game was not good. The Pats finished 18th in rushing years and 24th in expected rushing points added. Also Tom, as stated above, didn’t trust his recievers. So, where else was the offense going to come from.
Tom Brady was Not Good in 2019
Tom Brady regressed badly last season. Tom’s completion % was his lowest since 2003, and his yards/attempt was his lowest since 2002. He also had his fewest amount of touchdowns since 2006.
When Brady initially put up these type of numbers, he was a young quarterback learning the NFL still. He was buoyed by a fantastic defense, not unlike last years historic unit.
These numbers are not GOAT numbers. At least, not the numbers of someone who is still the best or among the best signal callers in the NFL.
Across the board, Tom Brady’s rate stats have been declining for a few years now. Brady….may be washed at this point.
We will see what Arians and a bevvy of weapons in Tampa can do for Brady in 2020, but the trend is not promising for the future HOFer.
Wanted: Safety Blanket
A big, reliable TE, a back who can pick up a blitz or catch a pass underneath, or a great slot receiver are a young quarterbacks best friend.
These targets are always cornerstones of confidence and success for quarterbacks initially grinding their ax in the League.
The Patriots ave two, new, rookie tight ends and a great catching back in White. However, rookie production is all over the place and invaluable practice time has been lost due to the pandemic. White is getting older, and running backs around his age can start to lose a step.
The Patriots, however, still have peak Julian Edelman, one of the best slot receivers in the NFL.
Julian knows the offense, so the practice reps lost with Stidham, while not great, won’t hurt him as much as rookies needing all the time they can to learn the playbook etc.
This will lead to Stidham (who probably will at least be equal to Brady last year) going over and over again to Julian. Bill will beat into Stidham’s brain to not make mistakes.
Thus, expect Julian to be looked to early and often, and for the Squirrel to go nutty this season.
-Brent Buckley (@bigbucksbuckley on the twitter)
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