December 13, 2011 by staff
Rob Gronkowski, When the postscript is written on the 2011 season, Aaron Rodgers may be remembered as having the best season a quarterback has ever had. We don’t need to wait much longer to acknowledge the same at another position.
Rob Gronkowski is leaving all other tight end seasons in the dust. With 71 catches for 1,088 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns (he also has one rushing touchdown), Gronkowski is on pace for a ridiculous 87 catches for 1,339 yards and 20 touchdowns (19 receiving).
With a three-touchdown lead on Calvin Johnson, he is likely to become the first tight end to lead the league in touchdown receptions (in 2009, Vernon Davis’s 13 receiving touchdowns tied him at the top with Larry Fitzgerald and Randy Moss). If he finishes with 19 touchdown catches, he’ll become just the third player to do so. And Jerry Rice and Randy Moss only did that once each. And while Gronkowski is 13 yards behind New Orleans’s Jimmy Graham, he is on pace to break Kellen Winslow Sr.’s single-season receiving record for a tight end (1,290, 1980). With four receiving touchdowns in the final three games, Gronkowski would break Randy Moss’s modern record for receiving touchdowns in a player’s first two seasons (Gronkowski would be at 29, tying him with Bill Groman, set during the first two years of the A.F.L.).
He has already surpassed the season record for receiving touchdowns by a tight end. There’s a good chance he’ll break the record for receiving yards by a tight end. And according to Pro Football Focus, he’s the No. 1 run-blocking tight end. If he can keep up this pace, it’s safe to say that it will be remembered as the best season by a tight end in history.
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