By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
ATLANTA (CBS) — For the first time since Super Bowl XXXIX, a Patriot not named Tom Brady has been named Super Bowl MVP in a Patriots victory.
This time, the MVP was Julian Edelman. And it was well-earned.
In a game that lacked offensive firepower, Edelman was at times the only player capable of moving the football for either team. Edelman had seven receptions for 93 yards in the first half, moving into second place on the all-time postseason receiving list in the process.
Edelman upped his receptions and yardage totals to nine for 128 yards by the middle of the third quarter, a game which the Patriots led just 3-0. Edelman had 31 receiving yards on two receptions on the drive that led to that first field goal.
Edelman finished the game with 10 receptions for 141 yards. Those 141 yards accounted for over 53 percent of Brady’s 262 passing yards in the game.
The 32-year-old Edelman missed the entire 2017 season due to suffering a torn knee in the preseason. He was then suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season due to a failed PED test.
Deion Branch won Super Bowl MVP for the Patriots back in 2004, for his 11 catches and 133 receiving yards in the Patriots’ win over the Eagles. Brady won Super Bowl MVP in the Patriots’ four other wins.
Edelman, playing in his fourth Super Bowl, entered the night with 14 Super Bowl receptions for 196 yards and one touchdown. That’s despite recording zero offensive stats in his first Super Bowl, back in 2011 against the Giants.
Already getting buzz this postseason for the Hall of Fame, the performance on Sunday night is sure to add fuel to that conversation.