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FOXBORO (CBS) – Another week, another record for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski set the NFL record for most receiving yards by a tight end in New England’s 49-21 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, surpassing Kellen Winslow’s mark of 1,290 set in 1980.
Gronkowski finished the season with 1,327 yards, edging out the Saint’s Jimmy Graham for the most yards by a tight end this season. The two were going back-and-forth Sunday afternoon, with Graham finishing with 1,310 yards just moments before Gronkowski grabbed a 22-yard reception with 1:30 to go against Buffalo.
Highs & Lows: 49 Unanswered
When asked if he knew about the back-and-forth with Graham during the game, Gronkowski was very honest.
“Maybe,” he said with a smile. “Obviously, why else would we run a play when we could have taken a knee?”
Gronkowski initially passed Winslow’s record early in the fourth quarter, but needed that final catch to reclaim the record from Graham. The Patriots could have run out the clock at that time, but chose to give Gronk one more shot at getting the regular-season crown.
“It means a lot, man, that they’re willing to do that [when] we could [have] taken a knee and just make sure no one gets hurt,” said Gronkowski. “It’s just an honor to play here. That’s why I love playing here, great teammates, great coaches, and everyone’s just a team here and nothing would get accomplished here without everyone.”
After the reception, New England took a knee for three straight plays to run out the clock.
The second-year tight end had eight catches for 108 yards in the regular season finale. He caught a pair of touchdowns to give him 18 for the season, second most for a Patriot in the regular season.
The Patriots have a first-round bye, but be sure to tune in to a special playoff edition of Patriots GameDay Sunday January 8 at 11:30am on WBZ-TV.