The Jacksonville Jaguars know they face a tough test Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots, and there’s at least one aspect of the Patriots’ high-powered offense the Jaguars don’t have an answer for.
The star tight end has been a force this season and entered the NFL playoffs arguably the healthiest he’s ever been. It showed during New England’s AFC Divisional Round victory over the Tennessee Titans when Gronkowski caught six balls for 81 yards and a touchdown in the 35-14 win.
So how will the Jaguars’ sturdy defense defend the best tight end in football?
Head coach Doug Marrone was asked what the Jags’ strategy for covering Gronk would be, and he gave a hilarious response.
“Hope they don?t throw him the football. Hope he drops it,” Marrone said. “There?s no secret formula. I’d like to watch a game where someone has been able to do it. He’s going to make his plays and you hope those plays don?t end up killing you.”
That’s about as honest a response as Marrone could give.
While Jacksonville’s defense undoubtedly will be the best the Patriots have faced this season, the Jags will need to pressure Tom Brady to have a shot of slowing down Gronkowski and the rest of New England’s offense.
Good luck, Jaguars.