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Blog Entry

Gronkowski had little impact for Pats

Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:04 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 5:38 am
 
Chase Blackburn comes down with an interception in front of Rob Gronkowski. (AP)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Rob Gronkowski played as much and as well as most people could have guessed. He played but almost certainly was not 100 percent healthy. He didn't have much of a role in the passing offense. He was used mostly as a decoy and as a blocking tight end. And in the end, his impact on the Patriots' 21-17 loss to the Giants was minimal.

If we weren't wondering about how his ankle -- only two weeks after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the AFC title game -- we probably wouldn't have noticed Gronkowski at all. Basically, he was a shell of the man who accomplished so much this year and who put together arguably the best-ever season for an NFL tight end.

During the season, he caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns. On Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski was targeted only three times and caught two passes for 26 yards. He blocked on running plays, but mostly, he was invisible.

"I was good," Gronkowski said. "I was 100 percent out there doing everything they asked me to do."

Fair enough, but obviously the Patriots didn't ask him to do much. Which was probably appropriate, considering Gronkowski didn't practice the week after the AFC title game and didn't practice Wednesday or Friday before the Super Bowl. He was limited on Thursday, so the game plan for Gronkowski probably was small.

Giants 21, Patriots 17
Still, he had a chance to make a big play early in the fourth quarter as the Patriots tried extending their 17-15 lead. Tom Brady avoided the pass rush at midfield and launched a pass deep downfield, intended for Gronkowski. But the ball was badly underthrown, and Gronkowski couldn't get around Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn to prevent the interception.

"We were in a defense where I had to carry him vertical all the way down the field," Blackburn said. "[Brady] had a lot of time ... and he just threw it up for grabs. I finally found the ball. I just tried to box [Gronkowski] out and go up and get the ball.”

Maybe if Gronkowski's ankle were OK, he would have had a chance at catching the pass. Maybe he would have had a greater impact in the game, like fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez, who led the team with eight catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. But that's not who the Patriots had Sunday. His ankle allowed him to play, but it didn’t allow him to be the player you normally see.

"We don’t make excuses," running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis said. "We didn't win the game today, and that's it."

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Comments

Since: Jan 11, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:15 am
 

Gronkowski had little impact for Pats

I think they should have brought in Kendrick Perkins. He woulda dunked the sumbitch!

Pat Gray
Cavendish, Vermont




Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:31 am
 

Gronkowski had little impact for Pats

give the guy a break will ya, he PLAYED through the pain!  speaks volumes to his heart & durability! I'm not a hater of the Pats like most!  You guys are stacked with talent, time to move on!!



Since: Jun 25, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:20 am
 

Gronkowski had little impact for Pats

He was a big void due to his injury. He was missed and it made the Giants job on defense easier. The T.E. was a beast this year and if healthy the Giants would have had to alter their defensive gameplan. Hernandez came on late but should have been mixed in earlier in the game. It was a good game down to the end.


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