From the NFL Newswire at 985TheSportsHub.com
Rob Gronkowski made eye-popping plays on almost a weekly basis during his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Now that the former Patriots tight end has retired, it’s time to look back at the very best that Gronk had to offer.
Surely, the tight end came up with plenty of timely catches in big games. He made bigger, more impactful plays than what you’ll see below. But his incredible combination of size, speed, strength, and athleticism also gave him the ability to dazzle fans with plays that redefined “spectacular”.
This top-5 list is dedicated to the plays that most blazingly set highlight reels on fire. Behold, the 5 most sensational individual plays of Rob Gronkowski’s career…
5. One-handed touchdown catch vs. Bills, 2017
Amazingly, this was only the second-best one-handed catch Gronk made in his career (more on that later). But wow. Tom Brady throws it a foot out of bounds, Gronk is well-covered, yet he still reels it in and kept his feet in bounds to get the touchdown. Poor Micah Hyde had no chance.
4. 26-yard touchdown catch-and-run vs. Colts, 2014
Gronk’s more famous play in this game was a block, when he bulldozed safety Sergio Brown all the way off the field – he “threw him out of the club”, as the iconic quote went. But this touchdown showcased Gronk’s incredible elusiveness, his ability to make defenders miss and find a way into the end zone even when he’s within inches of going out of bounds or getting tackled by several different defenders.
3. Diving touchdown catch vs. Broncos, 2011
One of the first true “WOW” plays of Gronk’s career. He took his breakout 2011 season to another level in the Patriots’ 45-10 blowout win over the Broncos in the divisional round, when he dove and snatched the ball as he toppled to the turf, keeping his hands under the ball and maintaining control. A 6-foot-7 tight end isn’t supposed to make plays like this.
2. One-handed catch vs. Broncos, 2014
The catch that many would point to as the single greatest grab Gronk ever made. Few players in NFL history, regardless of position, can snare the ball out of mid-air with one hand and hold onto it like Gronk did here. Brady at the time called it one of the greatest catches he’s ever seen. He can’t be far off.
1. 49-yard catch-and-run vs. Redskins, 2011
Of all the big plays Gronk made in his career, none encapsulated his singular combination of talents more than this catch-and-run against the hapless Redskins defense. Only Gronk had the hands to make the diving catch, the awareness to know he wasn’t down by contact, the footwork to stay in bounds, the strength to fight off three defenders desperately trying to tackle him, and the explosiveness to barrel down the sideline for one more big gain. This simple non-touchdown catch-and-run may have been in the regular season against the Washington Redskins, but it gave fans the full Gronk experience in a single play. He caught an 11-yard touchdown on the very next play, by the way.
Click here for all Patriots/NFL updates from 985TheSportsHub.com.