Coming off of another dominant victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots sit alone atop the AFC as the No. 1 seed at 5-1. And with their star playmaker having just gotten healthy and legendary quarterback Tom Brady still in peak form after returning from suspension, they look about as good as they feel.
And on Sunday, Gronkowski in particular made sure the Bengals knew just how good they were feeling. Gronk established a new career-high with 162 receiving yards and when things started getting chippy after Vontaze Burfict hit fellow tight end Martellus Bennett low with what looked like a cheap shot, the All-Pro took exception.
For the rest of the day, Gronkowski let Burfict and notorious trash talker Adam Jones know he had designs on destroying them every chance he could, even picking up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting after a big gain. Sunday night, he spoke with NFL Network’s Deion Sanders via Facetime and addressed the exchanges.
“So you’re saying Pacman never goes at anyone verbally?” Gronkowski asked when Sanders jokingly defended his Jones, who is a protege of Sanders’. “It gets chippy at times, but the fans love it. They love the chippiness.
“It’s just the competitive nature out there.”
Gronk was ultimately given a quick tongue-lashing from head coach Bill Belichick for allowing the Bengals temporarily inside his head in the lead up to the penalty. However, considering the 35-17 final score, the banner day and the fact that the Patriots look like one of the best teams in the NFL, it’s safe to say that he got the last laugh.