NFL

Patriots WR Julian Edelman leads league in targets, receptions

Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) argues for a call during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Vikings 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) argues for a call during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Vikings 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman does most of his damage from the slot as he's nearly impossible to stick with at just 5-foot-10 with off-the-charts quickness.

With Brandon LaFell on the PUP list, Edelman has emerged as Tom Brady's favorite target, and it shows in the numbers. Through two weeks, Edelman leads the league in targets with 31, and is tied for first in receptions with 22.

Edelman may not be the biggest or fastest guy in the league, but he gets the job done from the slot. Half of his 22 receptions have gone for first downs, while he's also caught two touchdowns already.

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Last season, Edelman caught just four touchdowns in 14 games, so he's already on pace to crush that number. But if there's one spot where his numbers could use improvement it's in his yards per catch. Currently, he's averaging just 8.8 yards per catch, down from 10.6 a year ago.

Once he breaks a big play, that number should improve, though. His longest reception this year is just 22 yards, but he'll gladly take the high volume of targets, instead.

(h/t WEEI)