Julian Edelman has huge game to take home Super Bowl LIII MVP honors

ATLANTA — Julian Edelman and Tom Brady hugged for a long time on the field after the game.

For only the second time in his six Super Bowl wins, Brady didn’t win MVP of the game. That went to Edelman, and it’s a good bet that Brady didn’t mind.

Edelman was fantastic, especially in the first half when both offenses were struggling to get anything going. He finished with 10 catches for 141 yards. After the game he had a Super Bowl MVP trophy (receiver Deion Branch is the only Patriot other than Brady to win one) and was filming a Disney commercial.

“He’s a fighter, man, that kid,” Brady said. “I’m just so proud of him. He’s been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are.”

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Super Bowl LIII: Patriots vs. Rams
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Super Bowl LIII: Patriots vs. Rams
Tom Brady (12) de los Patriots de Nueva Inglaterra festeja tras un touchdown ante los Rams de Los Ángeles durante la segunda mitad del Super Bowl, el domingo 3 de febrero de 2019, en Atlanta. (AP Foto/Jeff Roberson)
New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a pass in front of Los Angeles Rams' Marcus Peters (22) and Cory Littleton (58) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England Patriots' Stephon Gilmore, right, intercepts a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams' Brandin Cooks (12) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New England Patriots' Kyle Van Noy (53) sacks Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff (16) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
New England Patriots' Jason McCourty (30) breaks up pass intended Los Angeles Rams' Josh Reynolds (83), during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (99) hits New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
New England Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski (3) gestures after scoring a field goal, during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. The Patriots defeated the Rams 13-3.(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Los Angeles Rams' Robert Woods (17) breaks a tackle by New England Patriots' Jonathan Jones (31) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
New England Patriots' Tom Brady (12) throws the ball as Los Angeles Rams' Ndamukong Suh (93) rushes during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff (16) throws a pass during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Los Angeles Rams' Greg Zuerlein (4) watches his field goal during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game against the New England Patriots Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
New England Patriots' Jason McCourty (30) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams' Brandin Cooks (12) during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl 53 football game Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots runs the ball against John Johnson #43 of the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots scores a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates after defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 03: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is interviewed after his teams 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams during Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots and teammate Tom Brady #12 celebrate at the end of the Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: James Develin #46 of the New England Patriots celebrates with his son William Robert Develin after the Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The New England Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Edelman’s spot in history will be debated as his career goes on. His playoff resume gets better and better, and his Super Bowl MVP performance will lead off whatever Hall of Fame argument he has when he’s done.

There will be time down the road for that talk. On Sunday night, after the Patriots’ 13-3 win, he looked exhausted. He spoke in a low voice and just seemed a bit overwhelmed by a hard-fought championship win.

“I’m getting to live out a dream,” Edelman said. “It’s pretty surreal right now.”

Julian Edelman has a clutch game

In a game that lacked much offense, Edelman was the one player who was able to continuously get free. Perhaps the most important stat of Super Bowl LIII was that eight of Edelman’s 10 catches went for first downs.

“I was asked to make a couple of plays, and we were able to do that,” Edelman said.

Edelman had a monster postseason, with 26 catches for 388 yards in three games. That’s nothing new for Edelman, who trails only Jerry Rice in career postseason receiving yards.

“It’s an honor to be put in the same sentence as Mr. Rice, Jerry Rice,” Edelman said.

He has three Super Bowl rings. And a Super Bowl MVP trophy, only the seventh receiver to win the award. He has plenty of big Super Bowl moments too, from his game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks, his juggling miracle catch in Super Bowl LI against the Falcons or any one of his big catches Sunday. For Edelman, a college quarterback at Kent State and a seventh-round pick, his resume has far surpassed anything he could have realistically imagined.

“I was always taught as a young boy, work as hard as you can, put in the extra time and we’ll see where it goes,” Edelman said.

Edelman’s long road to Super Bowl MVP

Perhaps part of the reason Edelman seemed spent after Sunday’s game was that the past 18 months weren’t easy.

Last preseason, he tore his ACL and missed all of the 2017 season. The Patriots lost Super Bowl LII without him, and perhaps he would have made a difference in that loss to the Eagles.

“When your team is going out there and playing in the Super Bowl and you don’t get to help or you were not a factor, it was definitely very tough,” Edelman said.

Then to start this season, Edelman was suspended four games for a positive PED test, for which he apologized and claimed he didn’t know what happened.

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do,” Edelman said. “I preach that, and I guess you have to live to it.”

Whatever happened over the past year-and-a-half, the season ended with confetti falling, and good friends Edelman and Brady celebrating another championship with a big hug.

“Just two Bay Area boys that love football, love to compete and are living out our dreams,” Edelman said.

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Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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