Rob Gronkowski had a monster season. Despite missing one game because of a suspension, he still broke the 1,000-yard plateau and earned All-Pro honors. With the great performance, Gronkowski earned a large incentive in his contract, making an extra $2.5 million. Now, he is looking to add another Super Bowl championship to his resume as well.
In the final game of the season against the Jets, Gronkowski was held without a reception, as he wasn’t even targeted. Smart money would be on that not happening for a second consecutive game.
Gronkowski finished with the highest grade among tight ends according to Pro Football Focus. The Titans weren’t great defending tight ends, as they surrendered the 11th most yards in the league to opposing tight ends. That could be a recipe for disaster for Tennessee, as Gronkowski will want to bounce back from his catchless game against the Jets.
Gronkowski is capable of making big plays, and safety Kevin Byard is susceptible to giving them up. Byard has missed nine tackles in coverage and is average in average yards allowed per coverage snap.
Like Burkhead against the linebackers, expect the Patriots to take some shots with Gronkowski against Byard, if that is who matches up against him. The Patriots are as good as anyone at exploiting opponents weaknesses, and Byard against Gronkowski could potentially be a big one.