FOXBORO, Mass. — Gronk see ball. Gronk catch ball. Gronk score touchdown.
Rob Gronkowski reaffirmed everyone?s belief he?s not human Sunday by totaling a career-high 11 receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown in the New England Patriots? 30-23 win over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Perhaps most amazingly, Gronkowski had no idea where quarterback Tom Brady was located while reeling in the game-sealing, 15-yard TD pass with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter.
?I actually couldn?t even see Tom because the defensive linemen that were chasing after him, they?re huge,? Gronkowski said after the victory. ?I didn?t even see Tom. I just saw the ball come up there, and I?m like, ?Oh, here it comes.? And I knew I was wide open, so I was like, ?Just catch it and run it in.? I just stayed focus when I saw the ball in the air, and it was a good play.?
Gronkowski?s 60th career touchdown reception — he also has one rushing score, giving him 61 TDs total — was one of the easiest of his career, as there weren?t any Jets defenders within about five yards of the All-Pro tight end. He admitted it felt strange being so wide open. After all, he?s used to playing an extremely physical brand of football — look no further than him dragging Jets safety Marcus Gilchrist — and having to work for every yard he gains.
?Every time you?re a competitor, there?s usually someone on you and you just make a reaction,? Gronkowski said. ?But when you?re wide open, it?s always a different mindset. But you?ve just got to stay focused, just like any other catch, and I just made the play and just a good offensive play there.?
Gronkowski leads the Patriots with 533 receiving yards through six games, meaning he?s on pace to break his own NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,327), set during the 2011 campaign. He?ll get there without a problem if teams don?t cover him moving forward.
Even if he?s blindfolded.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images