How Did The New England Patriots React To Win Over Texans?

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Dec 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) walks off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Texans 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowski

When did you know you were going to play in the game tonight?

“I mean, I don’t know. Never really thought about it. Just was going through the process throughout the week, seeing how practice went, seeing how I was feeling after practice and all, I mean just basically all the way up to the game just making sure I was planning on playing and making sure everything checked out throughout the week and everything did. It went well, feeling good and it’s great to be back out there with the team.”

How does your knee feel?

“It’s good. Good to go.”

How did it feel to test the knee run blocking?

“It just felt good to be back out on the field. Putting pads on for the first time in a few weeks, getting back in to it. Just felt good to be back out there playing football again. Being out there with the teammates, just having a great team win overall.”

Was scoring a touchdown in your first game back icing on the cake?

“It’s always good to make a play, get a touchdown. The icing on the cake is that win.”

What happened on that touchdown play?

“Just had to make a little move, the DB played good defense and Tom (Brady) just put it up there where I just had to go up, go make a play and I did, so it was just good execution overall.”

How did you break open on the 45 yard catch in the first quarter?

“Oh yeah, I mean, I was running that route and it was taking a while and I couldn’t even see Tom, I had no clue where he was. Next thing you know I just see the ball go flying in the air coming to me and then I couldn’t see the ball anymore in that stadium. It went right in to the lights for like half the way and I’m like ‘I know it’s coming to me,’ and then like, when it was like 20 feet coming down I saw it like ‘there it is,’ and just had to make that catch and it was just a good pass overall.”

Was there urgency to get back as soon as possible after losing two games in a row?

“There was urgency and there wasn’t urgency. Obviously I want to be back out there with my teammates, be back out there playing football. When you miss a game it’s just hard to watch, you want to be out there playing football making plays and at the same time you just have to be smart about it, which we were. The organization, myself, just rehabbing really hard and everything checked out, everything felt good, so I was good to go.”

How hard is it to be smart about when you come back to play?

“It was easy to be smart. Just had to work hard. If you worked hard and you gave everything you gave to get back, and it wasn’t checking out right, well then you know you gave it all you had. That’s how you can be smart about it. Just checked out well. Rehabbed hard all week for the last two weeks. It turned out good, and it was great to be back out there.

Was there a point in practice this week when things changed?

“Let’s just talk about the game. I played. Just worked hard to get back out there. Just missed my teammates and all. Just want to talk about the game.”

Was there a point in game against Denver that you didn’t think you would come back this season?

“We’re in Houston now. Let’s just talk about this game.”

How much do you pay attention to guys when they are going low when they tackle you?

“I’m just running the ball. Sometimes I don’t even know notice how I get tackled. It’s just how quick the game is, how quick a move is, how quick a tackle is. You don’t see someone tackling you. You don’t really know how you got tackled. Definitely watch out for that and try to avoid it as much as possible.”

How satisfying was it to get a playoff berth tonight?

“It was just satisfying to come out here and get that win. That’s all that mattered to the team. That’s all we wanted to do. Come back out and get on the winning track again, and we did that. It is cool that we clinched a playoff spot and all, but we’ve still got Tennessee next week. We’ve got a couple more games left in the season. That’s all we’re focused upon is on our opponent next week.”

Next: Week 15 AFC Power Rankings: Pats back on top

What are your thoughts on being back on top of the AFC after falling to number three in the AFC last week?

“You’ve just got to take one week at a time and not worry about what you can’t control on the outside and just worry about what you can control and that’s getting better. Practicing hard. Focusing on your opponent that week and making sure you come out prepared for that game that week.”