Third time the charm for Gronkowski

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With a late defensive collapse stealing the headlines, it's easy to overlook the Patriots' improbable go-ahead touchdown late in Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Giants.

For a few minutes of game action, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski looked poised to be the game's hero, moving his team into the red zone on a 19-yard pass completion from quarterback Tom Brady.

Shortly thereafter, though, Gronkowski was on the not-so-receiving end of two straight incompletions, both would-be touchdowns, setting up a do-or-die fourth-and-9 play.

"I had two drops right before [the touchdown catch]. [Brady] put them right where only I could get them," Gronkowski said. "I got to be making those plays. I got to get those."

The Brady-to-Gronkowski connection, which yielded a franchise rookie record 10 touchdowns in 2010, wouldn't be stopped for long, however. The third try, on fourth down, proved to be the charm.

"Luckily enough they trusted in me on the third time," Gronkowski said. "It was all-or-nothing. We needed that play. Tom just happened to look at me, read me. Just a play you go over in practice, just to get it down, timing and everything. He made a nice throw, and I just had to make a play on it."

The 14-yard touchdown reception gave the Patriots a 20-17 lead, but don't ask the typically goofy Gronkowski what route he ran.

"I don't even know what it's called," he admitted. "Get open, Rob."