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Robert Alford: I couldn't believe Edelman caught ball

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Patriots receiver Julian Edelman may have taken over any trademarks for The Catch uttered anytime soon.

In what may have been the greatest individual play made by a wide receiver in recent Super Bowl history (Giants receiver David Tyree being the only real competitor), Edelman hauled in a bobbled, broken up pass with 2:20 to go in the fourth quarter, with the Patriots trailing by eight points.

Would-be Super Bowl MVP Robert Alford batted the pass in the air, but Edelman remained focused. He broke toward the ball along with three Falcons defenders and cupped the underside of the football just before it hit the turf. About a minute later, they tied the score at 28 and shifted the game toward overtime.

Even with time to digest, Alford could not believe it.

"I couldn't believe that he caught it," Alford said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It was a nice bat by me. I hit the ground I was trying everything in my will to get back up and at least make a play on it. I thought that (Ricardo Allen) or one of my (other) brothers would get it. They was all battling for it but Edelman came down with it."

Alford said he watched the play in slow motion while head coach Dan Quinn was challenging. His heart dropped when he saw the ball linger on his own foot. It was just enough of a lift for Edelman to scoop it up.

"(The ball) was laying up on my foot and I was like, 'Ah, I just wish I could have moved my foot or something like that,'" he said. "But God makes things happen for a reason."

Just like people will soon forget Matt Ryan's insane quarterback rating before the sack fumble, we should not forget Alford's performance even if it gets lost in the catch.

Alford had a pick-six with 2:33 to go in the second quarter, putting Atlanta up 21-0. At that moment, the Patriots' odds of winning the Super Bowl were almost entirely diminished.

But with Edelman's stunning grab came a continued source of new life and energy for the Patriots. It's something unexplainable and, as Alford came to find, almost impossible to defend.

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