Edelman has been key for the Patriots this season

Super Bowl LI: Patriots Key Offensive Players’ Odds

The New England Patriots are chasing their fifth Super Bowl when they face off against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium on Sunday.

Their offense has been the driving force behind their surge to compete for the Vince Lomardi trophy, with Tom Brady producing one of the best seasons of his career following his return from suspension for the deflategate scandal at the start of the term.

However, the quarterback has had help along the way from his defense that have allowed the fewest points in the NFL over the course of the season.

More importantly for Brady he has had a plethora of offensive weapons to rely on to help him put up 28 touchdowns in the regular term and a further five during the post-season, including three strikes against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game.

We’ll now break down the three key offensive players for the Patriots outside of Brady in the Super Bowl.

Julian Edelman

Edelman has been key for the Patriots this season

Since the departure of Wes Welker at the end of the 2012 season, Edelman has been the number one wideout for Bill Belichick’s men. He stood up to the plate in the 2013 campaign when a rash of injuries left Brady depleted of options and has not looked back since, becoming one of the most reliable players in the NFL.

He took his game to next level in the 2014 campaign, becoming the focal point of the offense alongside Rob Gronkowski. A former college quarterback with the Kent State Golden Flashes he displayed his diverse skill set throwing a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2014 divisional round to guide his side to a comeback win.

Edelman was sensational in Super Bowl XLIX, riding several big hits to come up with two huge catches in the fourth quarter. His first kept a drive alive on third and long, while his second handed the Patriots the lead that they would not let slip thanks to Malcolm Butler’s goalline interception.

He has been outstanding in the second half of the current season for New England, and has recorded three 100-yard games on the spin, including one for a score against the Steelers. A similar performance would propel him into the conversation with post-season greats and 10 catches will see him sit second behind Jerry Rice in all-time playoff receptions.

Edelman is an outside contender for Super Bowl MVP, although he came mighty close in the last title game, notching 10 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Backing him with Bovada sportsbook at +2500   to win the award makes sense as the Falcons will have their hands full attempting to cover him and his shifty speed on the field.

LeGarrette Blount

Blount has been a force in the endzone

Blount arrived in New England in the 2013 without much fanfare, but by the end of the season he was a key contributor in their push for the playoffs. He rushed for over 100 yards in a divisional round win over the Indianapolis Colts, but failed to rise to the occasion in the AFC Championship that term before leaving the club for the Steelers in the off-season.

The running back walked off the pitch when with the AFC North side and was subsequently released by the club. However, Belichick had no problem bringing back into the fold and he was part of the outfit that again hammered the Colts, but this time in the AFC Championship game to secure his side’s place in Super Bowl XLIX.

Blount was a key part of the club last season and after a slow start to the season he was just beginning to find his form last in the campaign before a hip injury ruled him out for the term. He would have cut a frustrated figure as the Patriots struggled against the Denver Broncos in the AFC title game at Sports Authority making him determined to come back strongly in 2016.

He has been extremely impressive in the redzone for the Patriots this term, notching a league-high 18 touchdowns and recording a career-high in rushing for 1,161 yards, easing the pressure on Brady. Against a speed-based defense he will be a vital player and he is a sure fire to reach the endzone, with odds of -150   to score a touchdown in NRG Stadium.

Chris Hogan

Hogan destroyed the Steelers

One of the storylines of Super Bowl week will be the fact that Hogan played four years of lacrosse before making the decision to play one season of football at Monmouth College. His skill set was enough to earn a shot in training camp with the Miami Dolphins – where he earned the nickname ‘7-11’ from team-mate Reggie Bush for ‘always being open’.

He failed to catch on with the Dolphins having previously failing to make the grade with the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. However, he found a role with the Buffalo Bills for three seasons and enjoyed decent outings in their clashes against the Patriots, drawing the attention of Belichick.

In the off-season the Patriots put forward a strong offer sheet to prise his signature away from their rivals, which the Bills were unwilling to match. Hogan has not missed a beat since moving to the club, scoring a touchdown on his debut, connecting with Jimmy Garoppolo for a 38-yard strike.

The 28-year-old has become New England’s big play man, notching important strikes against his old club the Bills and a 79-yard grab for a touchdown over the Baltimore Ravens. However, his best was yet to come as he starred in the AFC Championship game, catching nine passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns to put the Steelers to the sword.

A similar performance against the Falcons could see him record the most receiving yards in the contest. He has the speed and talent to expose their secondary and could connect with Brady to guide his team to the Vince Lombardi trophy. He is backed at +600   to lead the Super Bowl in receiving yards and given his last outing it could be a smart bet to take.

Tips Summary

Julian Edelman To Win Super Bowl MVP
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +2500

LeGarrette Blount To Score A Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: -150

Chris Hogan Most Receiving Yards In The Super Bowl
Sunday 5th February 18:40 ET (23:40 GMT)
Odds: +600

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