New England Patriots

For just the fourth time in an NFL career surely to end with a Hall of Fame induction, and for the first time this season, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was held without a catch in last Sunday’s 24-12 win over the Buffalo Bills.

It was an 0-for-3, to be exact.

But Gronkowski wasn’t exactly pouting about his lack of touches, according to Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

“Rob’s a great team player,” Belichick said on Wednesday. “I don’t think that’s ever been an issue.”

There’s also the fact that Gronkowski, like all Patriots, made his impact where it mattered, according to Belichick.

“There’s a lot of things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. What shows up on the stat sheet for us is wins and losses, not the individual stats,” Belichick said. “So, that’s everybody doing what they need to do on each play as consistently, as often as possible.”

One of those things Gronkowski contributed to on Sunday, though, was a sincere effort in the run-blocking game, which allowed the Patriots to straight-up go off, with 273 team rushing yards (their most since 2008 against the Oakland Raiders).

“I think it’s a team effort. Good play-calling, the offensive line is doing a great job blocking, James Develin, the tight ends, Gronk [Rob Gronkowski], Dwayne [Allen], [Jacob] Hollister when he’s in there, the receivers,” Patriots running back James White said of the team’s success on the ground in their victory. “Being able to run the football is a team effort. It’s not just about the running backs. It takes everybody in order for us to have that success.”

Still, the Patriots will certainly try to get Gronkowski, who has just two catches on eight targets and 21 yards in the last two weeks, on track before the start of the playoffs with a Week 17 home date against the New York Jets.