Remember Julian Edelman?
You know, the wide receiver for the New England Patriots?
He's been under the radar all summer amid the emergence of the rookie pass-catchers — wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson (not in Sunday's line-up), and tight end Zach Sudfeld — and veteran free-agent Danny Amendola.
Edelman showed up on the radar screen several times, and at important moments during the course of the Patriots 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, with seven catches for 79 yards and both of Tom Brady's touchdown passes.
There was concern over the lack of familiarity between Brady and his receivers this offseason, but it turns out his most familiar target was also his most valuable on Sunday.
The rookie pass-catchers have been the object of praise throughout training camp and the preseason, but they all struggled in their own ways. Boyce struggled to get off press coverage, and was targeted just twice on the day.
Sudfeld was targeted just once all day, and bobbled the pass straight into the arms of cornerback Justin Rogers in one of the zanier plays on a day that was full of them at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Thompkins dropped a pair of passes, including one in the back of the end zone that could have put the Patriots ahead for good. Brady scrambled to his right, and instead of continuing to scramble with Brady, Thompkins stopped in what he thought was a soft spot in the coverage. The problem: Brady expected him to continue breaking away from the defender. With a few more weeks of chemistry between the two, problems like that will correct themselves.
Even Edelman had some struggles on Sunday. He dropped a pass down the sideline that could have helped the Patriots get out of their own end zone. He also dropped what would have been a difficult catch in the end zone.
As one of Brady's only familiar targets, their chemistry paid dividends against the Bills, and should continue to pay off until the other receivers can get involved.
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