New England Patriots: 5 observations from Week 17 win over Jets

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 31: Tom Brady /
4 of 7
New England Patriots
FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 31: Rob Gronkowski /

No Gronk, No Problem

Despite what the box score might indicate, Rob Gronkowski was, in fact, active this past Sunday. He was in for most of the Patriots snaps, but he didn’t record a single catch. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t even targeted on Sunday.

If you look back in Gronk’s career game logs, you’d be hard pressed to find the last time he wasn’t targeted. You’ll actually never find the last time that happened, because this was the first time in his career that Gronk was active and wasn’t thrown to.

More from Chowder and Champions

The last time Gronk didn’t record a reception in a game was November 27th, 2016, against… the New York Jets.

Fortunately for the New England Patriots, they didn’t need Gronk and his utter dominance to win on Sunday. He was still an important part of the rushing attack, setting many key blocks for Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden.

You can chalk this game up as a statistical anomaly, and don’t expect it to happen again. It doesn’t matter whether Deion Sanders is on Gronk next game, he’ll get open and record at least one catch.

Moving forward, Gronk has to be involved heavily in the Patriots aerial attack. He’s the most dominant receiving tight end in the NFL, and he should be targeted as such. We’ve seen him take over games, and he will continue to do so as long as he’s healthy.

I’ll go so far as to say this will never happen again, though I do think it happened for a reason this time.

Thanks to a higher, Freudian power, Gronk finished the regular season with 69 total receptions. It’s his favorite number, for some unknown* reason. You can’t script that.

*wink wink