BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman made his presence felt in the Patriots offense on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, hauling in nine of 10 targets for 60 yards. Two of his catches set up each of Tom Brady’s touchdown passes to James White and Rob Gronkowski.
But Edelman also fumbled the football away on a punt return, coughing it up to the Steelers on the Patriots’ 43-yard line with the team up 27-16 and just 10:50 remaining in the fourth quarter. The turnover gave the Steelers a chance to cut the Patriots’ lead, but kicker Chris Boswell ultimately missed a 54-yard field goal attempt.
Still, Edelman knows Bill Belichick won’t let him off the hook for turning the ball over in that situation.
“Just terrible ball security,” said Edelman when asked about what happened on the play. “I didn’t have [the football] tight, so I’m going to have to hear about that.”
When asked whether he felt he recovered the fumble, Edelman replied, “It was a dogfight under there.” Edelman emerged from the pile in a struggle with the Steelers’ Greg Warren for the football, but the referees ultimately awarded the ball to Warren.
Edelman also made a key drop with just two minutes left in the second quarter. Tom Brady made a perfect throw into Edelman’s hands on 3rd-and-3 and Edelman simply dropped the ball. Guard Shaq Mason committed offensive holding and would have negated the play, anyway, but Edelman knows he can’t make those kinds of drops in the future.
Nonetheless, No. 11 is happy about the Patriots’ resilience in overcoming their miscues and getting out of Pittsburgh with the win.
“We’re developing a mentally tough team,” said Edelman. “It’s still very early in the season so we’ve just got to continue to improve, get better, and just play out situations better, protect the ball better, and that’s just what we’re going to have to do.”