In a season that opened with a four-game suspension, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman closed a championship run as the MVP of Super Bowl LIII.
In a tight-fisted defensive affair, Edelman did some roll-up-the-sleeves work on offense, with 10 catches for 141 yards in the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Points were hard to come by for both teams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl of all time, and as the Patriots put together one touchdown drive in the game, Edelman was the consistent go-to guy on offense.
“[It’s] pretty surreal. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do,” Edelman said. “I preach that. … I have to try to live to that.”
Edelman is the seventh wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honors and the first since Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII. Desmond Howard also won the game’s MVP honors as a returner.
Edelman closed at 25-1 to win MVP at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.
Edelman joins a list of receivers to win MVP that includes Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Fred Biletnikoff and Jerry Rice. He is the second Patriots wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honors, following Deion Branch in Super Bowl XXXIX, New England’s third of six Super Bowl wins with Tom Brady at quarterback.
It was Edelman’s sixth career postseason game with at least 100 yards receiving and his second 100-yard game this postseason. He finished with nine receptions for 151 yards in the Patriots’ divisional-round win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Edelman’s 115 career postseason receptions are now second only to Rice’s total.
“I think we just had to worry about one play at a time and keep knocking at the door,” Edelman said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”