The New England Patriots didn’t need any more points in Sunday night’s blowout win over the Denver Broncos, but Rob Gronkowski still was furious about a potential touchdown catch that was ruled incomplete.
Early in the first quarter of the Patriots’ 41-16 victory at Sports Authority Field, quarterback Tom Brady fired a pass to Gronkowski at the goal line that was ruled incomplete. The tight end argued he had gotten his hand under the ball, however, and the Patriots challenged the call.
Officials upheld the ruling on the field, and New England settled for a field goal. Watch the video above, presented by Bedgear to see what Gronk had to say about the call.
(It’s also worth noting that Gronkowski likely would have been ruled down at the 1-yard line, as safety Darian Stewart touched him on the backside before he slid into the end zone.)
Asked about the call in his postgame news conference, Gronkowski went off, insisting he would not have told head coach Bill Belichick to throw the challenge flag unless he was “100 percent sure” he had caught the ball.
“I mean, I didn’t see any replays or anything like that, but did you guys see any time where the ball hit the ground?” Gronkowski asked reporters in Denver. “(No), because it didn’t. That’s why. I put my hand underneath the ball. I know for sure I caught it. I just don’t understand why it wasn’t a (touchdown). It didn’t show any evidence of it hitting the ground. I know it didn’t. My fingers were underneath it. It tilted up the ball, and I knew it was right there. And I brought it in, and it landed on my forearm when I brought it in, and I knew exactly.
“I went up to Coach (Belichick), and he’s like, ‘Are you sure?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m sure, man.’ I would never say that if I wasn’t 100 percent sure, because you don’t want to lose that kind of trust. And I thought I caught it, man. I know I caught it. My fingers were underneath it.”
Gronkowski finished the game with four catches on seven targets for 74 yards. It was a productive night for New England’s tight end group as a whole, as Martellus Bennett caught three passes on three targets for 38 yards in his first game back in a Patriots uniform while Dwayne Allen snagged a touchdown pass — his first catch of the season.
“It’s huge,” Gronkowski told reporters. “It’s great to see those guys contributing like that. The first under with Marty, the (28) yards it went for, it helps out. That’s huge. And seeing Dwayne get that tug — I was so happy for him when he got that. It was great to see that.”
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images