By: Joe Zollo
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines the word "eliminate" as "to put an end to or get rid of." Synonyms for this word include close out or shut out. This word was used by LA Rams Defensive Lineman, Ndamukong Suh, to define what the defense did to Julian Edelman in SuperBowl 53.
Oh, Ndamukong. The only eliminating that happened was what the Patriots defense did to the entire Rams offense. The Rams offense had a total of 260 yards of offense in the Super Bowl while Julian Edelman had 140 yards himself. I would hardly call that "eliminating" an opponent.
Last time I checked, guys who won MVP as Julian Edelman did were not "eliminated" from that game or even "kept in check." That was not just some average performance, that was complete domination on the part of Julian Edelman. He accounted for 140 of Tom Brady's 262 passing yards while catching 10 of his 12 targets without a single drop.
His route running was stellar and made the secondary of Los Angeles run in circles because his movements were unbelievably crisp. He took hits and read defenses on every play and made his mark felt on the ground as well. Now, back to Suh.
This is what he had to say about Julian Edelman after the game. "He's an elite player, plays hard, found some holes in our defense in the first half and pretty much the third quarter. In my opinion, just thinking back, we eliminated him, even though he got yardages. We just have to not allow points to get on the board and give our offense more opportunities to score."
If he stopped after the first sentence, he would have saved himself a lot of embarrassment. Granted, I will give him the last sentence where they did not allow him to score but that in no way means you eliminated a player. In fact, Edelman was one of the only players you did not eliminate. Everyone not named Edelman and Gronkowski (possibly Sony Michel) did not have their best game so, yes, you could have said you eliminated them.
I will end this by saying I will cut him some slack. His back was to Edelman the entire game so how could he see that his defensive backs were getting torched? Oh, and if you really had that great of a game Suh, then why did you run off the field immediately after the victory formation snap without shaking a single hand?