Winning has become a weekly trend in Foxboro, but another trend is starting to develop too, one that is going to have a direct affect on the Patriots final results in 2015. Every week a different starter gets injured, and unfortunately Julian Edelman was the snakebitten Patriot in Week Ten. Edelman, who has become an integral member the Patriots explosive offense, was trying to break a tackle towards the end of the first quarter and landed awkwardly, leading to an injury and a slower moving Patriot offense. On the first drive, Edelman made three catches for first downs and helped them methodically drive down the field and into the end zone. That drive alone showed how important Edelman is to the offense.
With Edelman going down, Danny Amendola will step into the slot role that has been held by Troy Brown, Wes Welker, and Julian Edelman, so the pressure is on to maintain the excellence because it is a crucial position to their offense. Amendola started on a good note, making ten catches for 79 yards and also returning a punt 82 yards to setup the offense at the Giants nine-yard line. As Amendola moves into the slot and Edelman's role, other receivers are going to have to step up and replace the production Amendola was providing. Can Aaron Dobson finally breakout now that the Patriots really need him too? Time will tell.
Edelman, the seven-year pro out of Kent State, finishes his 2015 regular season with 61 catches, 692 yards, and seven touchdowns, assuming he doesn't make a miraculous comeback. Edelman's production in the passing game has definitely had an effect on his punt returning duties in 2015; he's under nine yards per return, the first time he's ever been under double figures in his career. Regardless of his struggles returning punts, Edelman has proven to be the best third-down wide receiver in football, and although the Patriots can adequately replace him, it's still a big blow to an offense that has lost three starters for the season and others for large chunks of time.
Statistics Provided By http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/E/EdelJu00.htm
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