Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski nearly had one of the most amazing sequences in NFL history.
Sure, the Patriots cornerstones still stepped up in the closing moments of Sunday’s 20-18 AFC Championship Game loss to the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but the end result put a damper on two incredible plays that would have been immortalized with a New England victory.
First, Brady found Gronkowski for a 40-yard completion on fourth-and-10 with less than two minutes remaining and the Patriots trailing 20-12. It was a beautifully thrown ball by Brady and a miraculous catch by Gronkowski, who was dealing with two Broncos defenders.
The Patriots still had work to do, however, and after failing three times to put the ball into the end zone, Brady again turned to one of his favorite targets. Brady hooked up with Gronkowski for a 4-yard touchdown pass that pulled New England within two points of Denver with 12 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately for the Patriots, the drama did nothing more than delay the inevitable. They couldn’t convert their ensuing two-point conversion attempt, and the Broncos punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 moments later with an onside kick recovery and a game-clinching kneeldown.
Stephen Gostkowski’s missed extra-point attempt in the first quarter certainly stings.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images