Yesterday Gronk did what he always does against the Bills: Dominate.
9 catches for 147 yards.
Nothing new there, the product of Western-New York has absolutely owned his hometown team over his career, in 12 games against the Bills Rob Gronkowski has 61 receptions for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns.
This "Mossing" of Bills CB Tre'Davious White (we'll get back to him later) should've been the highlight of the afternoon.
Unfortunately that was not the case, as late in the game Gronk lost his cool, and body slammed Bills CB Tre'Davious White after he intercepted a Tom Brady pass with a little over three minutes left to play. The Patriots were leading 23-3 at the point. Why they're still throwing the ball I'll never understand. I know that's what Pats do, but this team has already had it's fair share of devastating injuries, why play with fire? One of these times they're gonna get burned.
Now don't get me wrong, it was a stupid play Gronk shouldn't have done it, blah, blah, blah. It was late so yeah technically if you wanna call it dirty it was, but people are acting like this is Kiko Alonso against Joe Flacco.
Gronk jumped on him after the whistle, maaaaaybe there was a little elbow to the back of the neck, but who's really to say? After the game Gronk claimed the hit came from frustration over a lack of calls going his way over not just today, but the last seven seasons.
Bills coach Sean McDermott spoke to Bill Belichick about the play and even Bill acknowledged it was a bad play, calling it "bullshit".
Honestly I think it was fucking stupid of Gronk, you need to know when you play for the Patriots and are arguably their most polarizing player that you're going to be held to a different standard. There's already a target on your back, and this play just slaps a fresh coat of paint on it.
I get it he was frustrated, I can remember White holding him and getting away with it throughout the game. I'm also pretty sure I remember a questionable hit Gronk earlier, but I digress. You just can't do that. I understand where Gronk is coming from though, I'm sure he's sick of never getting any calls. As someone who's watching probably 95% of his career snaps you know that because of his size and sheer dominance as the best tight end the league has ever seen Gronk gets man handled, officials let guys get away with a lot on Gronk. If anything, Gronk is usually the one getting called for pass interference. So Gronk snapped and laid the wood on this kid.
Now everybody is calling for Gronk's head acting like this is the most despicable late hit in NFL history. Not even close, but since it's Gronk and the Patriots it's a hate-crime. Gronk is probably going to get suspended and honestly I'm more than okay with that.
Next week the Patriots play the Dolphins have are a notoriously dirty team, they have Ndamukong Suh who has a masters degree in late hits, and Kiko Alonso who is just a few credit shy of getting his degree as well. The Patriots are doing what they always do, win. They're 10-2 and are going to get a bye, and more than likely will beat the hopeless Dolphins regardless if Gronk plays or not.
They don't need to expose Gronk to any unnecessary hits. Have Gronk sit out against the Dolphins, you're actually doing the Patriots a favor. Honestly, I'm really fine with Gronk playing the Steelers game and then just sitting until the playoffs. Yes, the Patriots have been with without Edelman, and Hightower, and they did win the Super Bowl without Gronk last year, but I don't want to just count on that happening again. You cannot afford to have Gronk go down.
I think that's my biggest takeaway from this whole ordeal, stop exposing Gronk and Brady to unnecessary hits late. I get it Tommy is pliable AF. but he's also 40 years old, there's nothing good that can come from him playing late in the game against a bunch of guys who hate his guts. I know we'll hear the same cliches from Belichick that it's a 60 minute game and they're gonna compete all 60 minutes, but there's nothing good that can happen from keeping them in the game when it's out of hand. With Gronk we know his injury history, I've said on multiple occasions he's made of wet papier-mâché, he's had three seasons ending injuries in seven years. Realistically he could've sat after Tyrod Taylor threw that redzone interception in the first quarter because after that happened the game was over.
So if you wanna suspend Gronk, suspend Gronk it's going to make no difference against the Dolphins, honestly while we're at it, maybe they should rest him against the Bills too. They will definitely be looking for payback.