After his first touchdown of Sunday's 34-27 victory against the Redskins, Gronkowski spiked a ball so hard that it bounced up and traveled through the uprights. Just a week ago, he rocketed a ball off the Gillette Stadium turf so ferociously that it traveled 35 yards up the field.
Gronkowski caught a pair of touchdown passes Sunday to give him 15 on the season. The 14th set a single-season record for tight ends, so someone on the Patriots' equipment staff made sure to secure the ball for Gronkowski's collection.
What will he do with it?
"I don't know," Gronkowski responded. "Spike it. Practice my spikes."
Of course, why not? Gronkowski has taken one of sport's most common celebratory tactics and turned it into his trademark. Because he's had so much practice — Gronkowski has 16 touchdowns this season, including one on a lateral — the 6-foot-6, 265-pounder has put together a highlight reel worth of his spikes.
Gronkowski's second touchdown celebration took it up a notch, as he jumped into the first row at FedEx Field and hugged a fan who was wearing a Wes Welker T-shirt.
"I just do things on the spot, and I never thought of that before," the fun-loving Gronkowski said after the game. "I just saw the guy with the New England jersey in the first row, so I've got to give him some props, got to give him some love because he's got first-row [seats] at an away game with the New England jersey on."
Gronkowski's record-setting day included six receptions for a career-high 160 yards and the two scores. He also set a franchise record with a touchdown catch in his sixth consecutive game. It was the eighth multiple-touchdown game of his career and the sixth this season.
Gronkowski was excited about the NFL record, but he knew it was only memorable because the Patriots won the game, too.
"I got the ball back and everything, so it was cool," Gronkowski said. "But it's cool to get a record and everything, but it really doesn't matter. We got the team victory."