For a player to even make the playoffs as often as New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has is impressive in its own right. But what the talented wideout has done when he gets there is nothing short of exceptional. The proof of that came in Sunday’s NFL divisional-round matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half.
Edelman wasted little time getting to work in this game, as he caught five passes in just over one quarter of action. And it was his fifth reception, which came on the first play of the second quarter that really stood out. Entering the game, Edelman needed five catches to surpass Reggie Wayne for the No. 2 spot on the NFL playoff receptions list.
After his catch early in the quarter, Edelman had totaled 94 catches which places him behind only Jerry Rice for the top spot. Unfortunately, Tom Brady’s go-to target has quite a bit of work to do in order to break Rice’s record, who hauled in 151 passes in the postseason from the years 1985 to 2004.
Julian Edelman’s Impressive Postseason Numbers
While Edelman has been as consistent as they come for the Patriots over the past five seasons, his dominance in the playoffs is well-documented. Through his first 15 career postseason games (not including Sunday), Edelman totaled 89 receptions for 1,024 yards and five touchdowns. This meant he has averaged just under six receptions per game in that span.
But it’s what the Patriots receiver has done over the past 10 playoff games, dating back to 2013 which is really eye-opening. Over that span, Edelman has totaled 74 or more yards in every game but one while catching 80 passes for 949 yards, good for an average of eight receptions and 94.9 yards per game.
Edelman’s Chances to Break Rice’s Record
This is certainly going to be a topic moving forward, although it may not ramp up until Edelman gets a bit closer to Rice. With that said, if the Patriots were able to make the Super Bowl this year, that would give the 32-year-old wideout two more games in this postseason to add to his total. If he’s able to haul in 7-9 passes, there’s a chance he could be within roughly 40 receptions of Rice’s total.
From there, it would likely take more than one more year for Edelman to make up the difference. But if the Patriots can play three games in the playoffs with him continuing to play at a high level, then the record is certainly attainable. At his recent average of nine catches over the last 10 playoff games, Edelman would need 3-4 more games after this year to get the job done.