It's overtime of the AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and Chiefs. The Patriots have the ball at their own 35-yard line, and it's third-down and 10 yards to go. The season could be on the line for New England right here.

Tom Brady knows he's going to Julian Edelman on this play. The crowd at Arrowhead Stadium and the TV audience at home know Brady is going to Edelman. CBS analyst Tony Romo knows Brady is going to Edelman -- and Romo has told you so before the play happened.

Everyone knows, including the Chiefs. Yet no one can stop him. And Edelman catches a pass for 20 yards to extend the drive.

Three plays later, it's third-down and 10 yards to go again on the Chiefs' 45-yard line. Can you guess what's coming?

That's right, it's Edelman. And this time, he catches a 15-yard pass for another New England first down.

The Patriots, as you're well aware by now, scored on this drive to beat the Chiefs 37-31 in overtime. They are now playing in Super Bowl LIII against the Rams on Sunday in Atlanta, and Edelman -- who moved into second all-time in postseason receiving yards in the second quarter of the game -- is a big reason why.

Julian Edelman
NE • WR • #11
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No matter how many times it seems obvious that Edelman is going to make a crucial play for Brady and the Patriots, it happens. And some of the best players in the NFL said at the Pro Bowl that stopping Edelman is nearly impossible.

"Baller," Ravens safety Eric Weddle said at the Pro Bowl in Orlando. "He's just a gamer. Tough. Makes clutch catches over the course of his career. Can beat 1-on-1 coverage. Knows where to sit in the zone. Complete wide receiver. Nothing but admiration and respect for the guy. It's always fun going against him and trying to hold him down because you know when the game is on the line he's going to be the guy to make a play."

Super Bowl LIII is Sunday, Feb. 3, in Atlanta 
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Edelman finished the AFC Championship Game with seven catches for 96 yards on 10 targets. He now has 16 catches for 247 yards on 23 targets in two playoff games, and he had a fantastic regular season as well.

Despite missing four games due to suspension for performance enhancing-drugs, along with coming back from last year's torn ACL, Edelman still had 74 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns on 108 targets. Including the playoffs, he has either a touchdown or at least 90 receiving yards in 11 of 14 games.

"He's a really gritty guy," Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper said. "A really good player, man. You see what he's doing for them now. He's a very big part of their offense and a big reason why they're able to get to the Super Bowl this year. Great at moving the chains. Good third-down target. He's everything you want in a receiver."

Edelman tends to play his best in the playoffs. He comes into Super Bowl LIII second all-time for postseason receptions at 105, trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (151).

He's also fourth all-time in playoff receiving yards at 1,271, but he can move into second place ahead of Cliff Branch (1,289) and Michael Irvin (1,315) with just 45 yards in the Super Bowl. Rice again is No. 1 at 2,245.

"He's a guy that I looked at when I was coming into the league and why is he successful," Vikings receiver Adam Thielen said of Edelman. "What does he do? He's so versatile. To do what he's doing on offense and to do it on a consistent basis year after year, it's really impressive. I have a lot of respect for him."

Edelman, 32, started as a college quarterback at Kent State. He was selected by the Patriots with a seventh-round pick in the NFL Draft in 2009 -- only 24 players were drafted after him.

It wasn't until 2013 when Edelman became a significant contributor on offense. During his first four seasons, Edelman was a reserve receiver (he had 69 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns over that span), but he also spent time on defense and special teams.

Since then, however, Edelman has established himself as one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. And a nightmare for opposing defensive backs.

"You know when you play the Patriots, they scheme up a lot," Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said. "They're going to keep him in motion. He's going to come in motion behind stacks or bunches and things like that. You have to be able to play man on the run and motion. You have to be prepared for all that when you play Edelman."

Some of the best receivers in the league have also tried to mimic what he does in terms of footwork and ability to get open.

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"It's special," Packers receiver Davante Adams said. "He's one of the guys that I've watched with his release package. Seeing a lot of the things that he's done, it's influenced how I've come off the line. I try to take as much as I can from any guy around the league, but Julian is definitely one of them."

Now, Edelman will try to put together one more impressive game against the Rams on Sunday. He already has two memorable Super Bowl moments with what ended up as the game-winning catch against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX and one of the most amazing catches in NFL history against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Can he make more postseason magic Sunday? Will he get a third Super Bowl ring?

We'll find out. But one thing we know for sure is that Brady will lean on Edelman in crucial situations.

When Brady needs to make an important throw or convert a key third-down, he's probably going to Edelman. Everyone knows it. And the Rams are going to struggle to stop him.