Julian Edelman’s incredible, diving, bobbling catch in Super Bowl LI has already become NFL folklore.
With under three minutes to play, Tom Brady targeted Edelman on a 23-yard pass across the middle. The pass was tipped by a Falcons defender, and Edelman, surrounded by three Falcons players, dived, bobbling the ball twice in midair before landing with it for a completed catch.
The catch gave the Patriots a crucial first down, and they later scored on the drive, tying up the game at 28 to set them up for the overtime victory.
However, initially, the catch wasn’t a sure thing. As Edelman told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” on Monday, the referees had to review it to make sure it was a catch, much to his chagrin. Edelman said he was trying to tell Brady to speed things up to avoid just that.
“I looked at [Brady] and said, ‘We gotta Peter, Peter, Peter,’ which means let’s get to the ball and snap it before they review it,” Edelman said. He then jabbed the NFL’s confusing catch rules.
“I was like, hey, I didn’t know if I didn’t get it, you don’t know what a catch is nowawdays.”
Edelman also told Fallon the catch was “70 per cent luck.”
According to MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, after the play, Edelman screamed “I got it! I got it!” However, he made a similar admission to Vrentas about the referees reviewing the catch: “No one knows what the rule for a catch is.”
The play blew everyone away. After the game, Brady said, “One of the greatest catches I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how he caught it.”
Falcons safety Ricardo Allen, who was in the cluster of players going for the ball, said of his reaction after the play, “I’m like, ‘You didn’t catch that.’ But when you end up looking at the replay, he made a pretty great play.”
Watch the catch below:
And watch Edelman’s breakdown of it: