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Monday, November 14, 2011
Jets have no answers for Gronkowski

By Ian Begley

Rob Gronkowski's 6-6, weighs 265-pounds and is deceptively fast. In other words, he's way too much for the Jets to handle.

The kid they call “Gronk” hauled in eight passes for a game-high 113 yards and two touchdowns in the Pats’ Sunday night rout.

“He was outstanding,” Darrelle Revis said. “Him and Tom [Brady], they were connecting every chance they got.”

And they had plenty of chances.

The Jets threw Revis, Eric Smith, Donald Strickland and others at Gronkowski. They even tried a zone. But nothing could slow the big fella down.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Rex Ryan said. “We tried to match them up in different zones, we tried to bracket them sometimes, but the young man did a nice job of catching the football.”

Gronkowski first burned the Jets late in the first half, hauling in passes of 12 and 23 yards to help the Pats get inside the Jet 20 with under 30 seconds to play.

He then capped off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown reception, beating Smith, to give New England a 13-9 lead at the half.

Gronkowski's third-quarter TD catch was nullified because he’d stepped out of bounds, but he didn't miss a beat. A little over five minutes later, the second-year tight end hauled in a five-yard touchdown catch, easily beating Donald Strickland on the play.

His only mistake of the night was spiking the ball in close proximity to a Jets defender, which drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag.

Other than that, Gronkowski was flawless.

“He’s a great player and we depend on him,” Brady said. “…. We have to keep on finding ways to get him the ball.”