by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

A tough PD Game Ball to determine this week, but rookie receiver Julian Edelman gets the nod for stepping up in the absence of New England’s (and the NFL’s) most prolific receiver, Wes Welker.

Edelman caught 10 passes for 103 yards, helping the Patriots stay competitive when they had little reason to do so. Edelman had come on as a third receiver in recent games and now finds himself as a potential second man in tandem with Randy Moss. The former running QB out of Kent State (who looks rather Opie-esque in his roster photo) has made the switch to receiver a success. Considering he has missed time with a broken arm makes his rise seem even more remarkable.

Mr. Edelman, for your recent efforts and future promise, PD awards you the game ball.

Honorable Mention: Veteran running back Fred Taylor averaged almost five yards a carry (seven for 33) and scored the Patriots’ two offensive TDs as he continued his comeback after mid-season ankle surgery. Mr. Taylor, we get the feeling your team’s going to need you.

Honorable Mention, Deux: Kicker Stephen Gostkowski nailed two field goals (51 and 43 yards) and, unlike his Houston counterpart, hit all his extra points. In appreciation for a Pro-Bowl caliber year, Mr. Gostkowski (and especially in light of some of the alternatives out there), we thank you.

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