BOSTON (CBS) — Julian Edelman authored one of the most memorable catches in NFL history when he made a fingertip grab to save a deflected pass from hitting the turf in Super Bowl LI. On Monday night, in a game with slightly lower stakes than that one, Edelman was again involved in a memorable reception in a similar scenario, though not in the role he would have liked.
The veteran receiver was open over the middle on a third-and-7 from the New England 33-yard line early in the second quarter, with the Patriots trailing the Chiefs 3-0. Quarterback Brian Hoyer — in for Cam Newton, who was absent due to testing positive for COVID-19 — had not been very accurate to start the game, but on this play, he threw a strike to Edelman.
Edelman, though, couldn’t make the grab, tipping the ball dangerously into the air over the middle of the field. It was a tip that was ripe for an interception, but thanks to some good vision, strong hands, and a whole lot of luck, Patriots receiver Gunner Olszewski — who was activated from injured reserve just prior to the game — was in perfect position to save the day with a pretty spectacular catch.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) October 5, 2020
It was an impressive play on any day, to be sure. But considering this was Olszewksi’s first game action since last October, it makes the feat all the more incredible.
It was much-needed, too, as the Patriots had punted on their first two possessions before losing the football via interception on their third drive of the night. Olszewski’s catch kept alive the Patriots’ fourth drive and led to a field goal to get the Patriots on the scoreboard.