2. Rob Gronkowski
As was the case with J.J. Watt, 2015 wasn’t Gronk’s most productive season. But for players like Watt and Gronk, not reaching your full potential in a season still means you have played better than everyone else at your position.
Gronk’s stat sheet reads 72 receptions, 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not shabby numbers by any means. His average of 16.3 yards per catch ranked 12th among all pass catchers (including speedsters like Torrey Smith) and best among tight ends.
When Gronk is in the pre-snap huddle, every player on the offense feels confident that they are going to pick up the first down, reach the end zone and ultimately, win the game. His physical presence alone is enough to give the rest of the offensive unit confidence in succeeding at the task at hand.
Thankfully, the Patriots navigated through a regular season characterized by injuries without serious detriment to Gronk. He survived a Week 12 injury scare in Denver, and he’s at full speed entering the playoffs where he will be needed the most.
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