If you’re a New England Patriots fan, chances are you remember where you were when Rob Gronkowski made one of the best catches of the 2014 season. But do you know what set up that highlight-reel play?
Gronk’s amazing one-handed snag came in a Week 9 win over the Denver Broncos, when the big tight end contorted his body to avoid safety T.J. Ward and make the ridiculous grab.
As former Patriot Matt Chatham points out, though, Gronkowski’s catch might not have happened if it wasn’t for the right play call and perfect execution.
The play was designed as a play action pass, with quarterback Tom Brady faking a handoff before dropping back in the pocket. Brady and his offensive line sold the run perfectly, temporarily freezing the Broncos defense and giving Gronkowski the chance to run his route unimpeded.
“If any one of the three short defenders (the “potential re-routers” in the clip) had turned their initial attention to Gronk, this play wouldn’t have gone down as it did — Brady would have had to go elsewhere with the ball,” Chatham wrote on FootballByFootball.com. “But they were lied to convincingly by the offense, buying that instant for Gronk to pull off the jaw-dropping highlight.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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