New England Patriots wide receiver and punt returner Julian Edelman returned an 84-yard punt for a touchdown in the second quarter of the Patriots' 43-21 win over the visiting Denver Broncos on Nov. 2. Edelman is now New England's all-time leader in that category, breaking a previous tie with Troy Brown.
Julian Edelman is now the New England Patriots' all-time leader in punt return touchdowns.
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Edelman accomplished the feat with an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown during the second quarter of the Patriots' 43-21 win over the Denver Broncos on Nov. 2, per Boston.com's Jeff Pini:
"When Julian Edelman returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter on Sunday, it was more than just a special teams' score that gave the Patriots a 20-7 lead over the Broncos.
"The touchdown as the fourth punt return score of Edelman's career, moving him into first place on the Patriot's all-time list, breaking the record held by Troy Brown.
"Coming into the game, Edelman had returned 124 punts for 1,484 total yards over his six-year career. He scored a punt return touchdown each season from 2010-12.
"Edelman broke out as Tom Brady's go-to wide receiver last year, hauling in 105 catches for 1,056 yards -- both career-highs. He had a hot start to the 2014 season before cooling off the past two weeks, but caught fire in the first half on Sunday, catching six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots took a 27-7 lead into the locker room."
Pini's colleague, Jeremy Gottlieb, weighs in on Edelman's performance:
"Remember September, when Edelman was pretty much the only receiver Tom Brady looked at? After that four-game stretch, he quieted down big time to the point where last week against the (Chicago) Bears, he dropped more passes (two) than he caught (one).
"Edelman blasted his way back into the equation in this game, catching nine passes for 89 yards and a touchdown and, ripping off an 84-yard punt return for a score -- an amazing, cross-filled runback sprung by a huge block by Tim Wright -- which gave him a franchise record four return TDs in his career. He did drop what would have been a second TD reception but he also had multiple catches to convert third downs and reminded everyone that he's a massively important part of the Pats' attack."
Gottlieb also argues Brady, who threw four touchdown passes on Sunday, gets the edge over Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in terms of their all-time rivalry by virtue of New England's big Week 9 win:
"Sunday's tale of the tape will tell you that Manning completed more passes (34-33) than Brady, threw for more yards (438-333) than Brady and posted a higher yards-per-pass-attempt number (7.7-6.3) than Brady.
"But as has been the case far more often than not, Brady won the game. He's now 11-5 against Manning head-to-head in their careers while they obviously don't actually face each other, the last time I checked, wins mean more than statistics.
"Manning is a fabulous quarterback, as purely gifted as just about anyone who has ever played. But his continued inability to consistently win big games, whether in the regular season or the postseason, keeps him a step behind Brady, no matter how many career touchdowns he's thrown or what certain attention-starved Denver newspaper columnists might say. Numbers are nice but wins are better. And Brady is still the best."
In addition to his four ount return touchdowns, Edelman also has hauled in 11 touchdowns on 219 receptions in 72 career regular-season games for the New England Patriots, per ESPN stats.
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