New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is being recognized for his offensive explosion against the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Rob Gronkowski earns AFC Offensive Player of the Week,” wrote Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “Career high 168 yards receiving, plus a 2-point conversion.”
The Patriots barely edged out a win with that production and definitely needed every yard from their star tight end.
They’ll need him again on Sunday, when they play the Buffalo Bills. It’s a critical division game to keep them in that top spot in the AFC. They saw what happened when they dropped two winnable games in 2015 and then gave the Denver Broncos the No. 1 overall seed. They don’t want that to happen again.
Plus, the Bills might have a little something extra for Gronkowski. He was suspended for one game – and came back to thrash the Steelers – after throwing a very late hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. He gave White a concussion, and Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal reported that coach Bill Belichick was asked if the Bills would be looking to get even.
“Belichick asked about Bills looking for revenge on Gronk: ‘I’m sure it’ll be a very competitive game like it always is vs. Buffalo… We’re going to have to play a good 60-minute game.’”
“As I’ve had time to think about it, I knew he wasn’t that type of player,” White said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, per Maximo Gonzales of Clutch Points. “We just honed in and moved on from it. But I get the film Sunday and the best way that I can handle that situation and just try to go in there and just get a big old ‘W’ in their stadium and help our playoff chances. So yeah, I’m not a guy who’s going to try to do a cheap shot after the whistle. Nothing. I’m gonna play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. Respect the game. Just like I said, going in there and winning would be the best revenge.”