Edelman’s MVP may stand for Most Valuable Patriot

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Julian Edelman shows off his Super Bowl MVP trophy Monday.

ATLANTA – Most valuable Patriot?

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, back in October, wasn’t even into full gear yet.

Julian Edelman said at his MVP press conference Monday morning that when he returned following his knee surgery and four game suspension, that being a Super Bowl MVP was furthest from his mind.

“You start to play, you’re trying to get back into the flow of things, trying to see where you’re at,” Edelman said. “You’re thinking about that,you’re thinking about winning games, about trying to contribute and trying to improve each week. You don’t really think about those types of things (being a Super Bowl MVP). Maybe in the next couple of weeks I can sit back and think about that. By then we’ll be starting up soon.”

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The speculation will last for a few weeks. At some point, before the NFL begins free agency in March and mega moves are made, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will have to ultimately let everyone know whether he will return for another season.

And then the Patriots have to decide that yes, they’ll be willing to pay him what he’s been making despite injuries taking their toll. There’s no doubt one of the biggest catches of Gronkowski’s career was his 29 yarder of a perfect Tom Brady lob to the Ram 2-yard-line that set up the game-winning Sony Michel TD run.

“You know, it’s really not about that (Sunday night), it’s a night to celebrate with my team,” he said. “I’m going to take a few weeks and then make my decision.”

He loved the coaching staff’s decision to call the play in what may be his final Patriots reception.

“I knew the ball was coming,” he said. “I saw the coverage. It was the same coverage as the play before when we ran it. … Josh McDaniels saw it, and I saw the same coverage, same play-call. I just knew it was coming to me.”

The ball came to him. Now it’s just a quesiton of whether he’s coming back to the ball, and to the Patriots.

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Clearly, the Los Angeles Rams were in shock late Sunday night.

They came into Super Bowl LIII with the reputation of having a high powered offense. It sputtered, save for one field goal drive, and that opened the door for the Patriots to win their sixth Super Bowl title, 13-3.

“I really wouldn’t say (we were) caught off guard,” Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth said. “I think we just didn’t execute. We said this allweek long, the team that came in and executed the best would win. I don’t think either team executed really at a great level, but you know what, at the end of the day, they executed better than us.”

The Rams were held to some 260 total yards and kept out of the end zone.

“In the first half, we only had 23 plays,” Rams running back C.J. Anderson said. “That’s tough. That’s tough on us. You don’t get in sync if you can’t stay on the football field. I think we were probably 2 for 10 on third down. We weren’t great on third down, and New England was. I said that in the beginning of the week, whoever wins on third down is going to win the football game, and that’s what happened.”

What did the architect of this supposedly great Rams offense, L.A. head coach Sean McVay think?

“They (the Patriots) did a good job, and it seemed like every time we had a little bit of a positive play, we would end up having a penalty or move ourselves back,” he said. “I think a lot of it was a result of some things they did, but als, the play selection. I was not pleased at allwith my feel for the flow of the game and kind of making some adjustments as the game unfolded. …

“We just didn’t really get a chance to get anybody going today offensively and that starts with me. … There’s no other way to say it, but I got out-coached tonight.”

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One might make the argument that Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore could have been named the Most Valuable Player, not Edelman. Gilmore made life tough for Ram receivers as well as intercepting Rams QB Jared Goff down near the goal line with just over four minutes to play. But he feels he wasn’t the only factor on that play.

“Our defensive line put some pressure on the quarterback,” Gilmore said. “I knew once they got down near the goal line they like to take shots, so I was able to get some vision on it, and I knew (Goff) was gong to chuck it up and I made a great play. …

“In the Super Bowl, when you play against great players, it comes down to fight until the end.”

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Edelman and Brady were at Disneyworld on Monday. The team’s Boston rally is today…

With the win by the Patriots, the AFC has now cut the NFC’s edge in Super Bowl victories to 27-26. It’s the fifth win in the last seven Super Bowls for the AFC, three by New England…

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has extended his record to six Super Bowl victoris as a head coach and he became at age 66 the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl, knocking the coach that beat him twice, former Giants coach Tom Coughlin, from that honor. Coughlin was 65 when his team beat the Patriots in Indianapolis seven years ago…

And, it goes without saying now, that Brady is the only NFL player to own six Super Bowl rings. He was tied with 49er great Charles Haley, who had five…

The lack of offense, it appears, impacted television ratings. Nationally this Super Bowl was the lowest rated since 2009.

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