The New England Patriots offense will be new without Rob Gronkowski. That means that Tom Brady and Julian Edelman have to be better than ever in 2019.
The New England Patriots‘ combination of Tom Brady and Julian Edelman is quickly becoming one of the most historic offensive combinations in the NFL, rising to the ranks of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice or Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. While other combinations like Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown or even Brady and Randy Moss have had gaudier numbers together, they do not win the biggest games together as Brady and Edelman have.
Now, with Rob Gronkowski gone and uncertainty on the Patriots offense with Brady heading into his age-42 season, his relationship with Edelman on and off the field is more important than ever. If the Patriots hope to go to a fourth straight Super Bowl, this will have to be their best season to date, particularly in the regular season.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, the combination depends more on health than anything else.
The trust and consistency between Brady and Edelman have always been there. In Edelman’s 100% Showtime Sports special, the bond was really highlighted all the way back to when he was drafted in 2009. He did all he could to let Brady know if he needed to work with someone, he would be available any time, anywhere.
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Brady even highlighted him as the younger brother he never had — or even wanted, jokingly, of course. The bond that was created in 2009 has now won three Super Bowls and is looking to add a fourth.
When the Patriots faced the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Brady and company did not have Edelman, which proved to be more of a downfall than anything else. NFL fans have continuously thought of Gronkowski as Brady’s most important target of the past decade, but playoff performances prove it has and will always be Edelman. In Super Bowl XLIX, Edelman caught the game-winning touchdown from Brady.
In Super Bowl LI, the Patriots were without Gronkowski but were able to make the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history with Brady and Edelman anchoring the offense. And finally, last year’s Super Bowl LIII was where Edelman tore up the Los Angeles Rams on his way to winning Super Bowl MVP.
The success and track record are there for the Patriots future Hall of Fame quarterback and star wide receiver. Now in the 2019 season, though, it just has to be better than ever.
Edelman’s career high in catches in a single season is 105 back in 2013. It is hard to believe success will come unless Edelman can get near that mark with Brady once again. If so, these two will do damage in the playoffs like they always do, leading to a possible Super Bowl appearance for the fourth consecutive season.