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TE Rob Gronkowski - New England Patriots

6-6, 264Born: 5-14-1989College: ArizonaDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Kirby Lee, US Presswire

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Week 12: vs Detroit Lions

Mark and Joe say: Tough matchup. Tom Brady has been leading an explosive offense over the month of November. New England has crushed high-octane Denver and Indianapolis by 22 points in each contest. Brady threw 19/30 for 257 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions at Indianapolis last week, after roasting the Broncos for 33/53 for 332 yards passing, four TDs and one interception (with one sack taken for -1 yard) two games ago against Denver. Predictably, Rob Gronkowski has led the charge as a receiver with 15 targets for 13/176/2 over the last two games, while Julian Edelman (18 for 14/139/1), Shane Vereen (14 for 9/97/1) and Brandon LaFell (17 for 9/115/1) have all gotten a share of the action. The Patriots' offense is red hot entering Week 12. The Lions' rush D shuts down opposing backs, so they tend to get attacked through the air - last week, Drew Stanton wasn't sacked at all on the way to 21/32 for 306 yards passing, two TDs and two interceptions thrown. Ryan Tannehill managed 27/38 for 178 net yards, one TD and one interception at Detroit two weeks ago, while taking three sacks for -29 yards. The Patriots' line has surrendered 16 sacks this year (tied for ninth in the NFL), so Brady isn't particularly vulnerable to pass pressure this season. To date, the Lions' secondary has held up well with 221.5 net passing yards allowed per game on average (fifth in the NFL), with 12 passing scores given out balanced by 12 interceptions (tied for sixth in the NFL) and 26 sacks (10th) generated so far. At home against the Lions' stout D, we think that Brady and company have a tougher-than-usual matchup this week. However, he is so hot right now that benching him is only a move if you are stacked at quarterback with the likes of Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck behind Brady.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPRECYDTDFumL
8 vs CHI 9 149 3 0
9 vs DEN 9 105 1 0
11 at IND 4 71 1 0
12 vs DET PROJ-Dodds 5 * * *
12 vs DET PROJ-Tremblay 5 * * *
12 vs DET PROJ-Bloom 6 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 9 vs DEN (10 / 9 / 105 / 1 rec)

At this point, there's probably not a question who the best tight end in the NFL is, and it's arguable Rob Gronkowski is the best overall weapon in the game today. Once again, Gronkowski got open at will, dragging defenders, looking fluid, and making catches any human being has no business making. On Gronkowkski's first catch of the game, T.J. Ward tried tackling him low again, which brought back memories of the cheap shot Ward threw at Gronkowski when the Patriots played the Browns in 2013. However, Gronkowski leaped out of the way of the tackle, and continued to play like a man possessed from there. The highlight of the day was an absolutely ridiculous one handed grab that Tom Brady called the best catch he's ever seen. The play barely had Gronkowski short of the end zone, so he was rewarded on the very next play with a touchdown that came on a slant route with 1 on 1 coverage against a linebacker. At this point, it's becoming a repetitive theme that Gronkowski is in full beast mode, and he's clearly the focal point of the offense and one of the major reasons for the Patriots offensive turnaround.

2014 Week 11 vs IND (5 / 4 / 71 / 1 rec)

Though the passing game took a back seat to the running game, Rob Gronkowski's mark was still made in a major way, as he showed up time and time again with powerful blocks, including a comical penalty that saw him drive Sergio Brown basically off the screen and into a TV camera with all of his power. Gronk is a very underrated blocker in the run game, and on a national stage, he showed that he's easily the best all-around tight end in the NFL when healthy. Gronk's touchdown was simply signature Gronk, as he caught a short pass and rumbled 25 yards, pulling off his patented moves like tossing a defender aside, stiff arming another and outrunning another. It's almost a weekly thing at this point.

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New England Patriots Team Links

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Staff Dynasty Rankings

TE Dynasty - 2, 1, 1, 2, 4
Overall Dynasty - 13, 1, 9, 32

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Schedule

12vs Detroit Lions
13@ Green Bay Packers
14@ San Diego Chargers
15vs Miami Dolphins
16@ New York Jets
17vs Buffalo Bills