BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski had no doubt about whether he scored on Sunday night against the Broncos. The tight end’s catch in the second quarter didn’t matter in the end, as Dwayne Allen scored his first TD of the season on the next play, but felt like a more impactful call at the time with the Patriots still up only 11 points.
Gronk felt it was a no-brainer for Bill Belichick to challenge the play, which was ruled an incomplete pass on the field and upheld after review. Because he said with absolute certainty that the ball never touched the ground and he made the catch.
“I mean, I didn’t see any replays or anything like that, but did you guys see any time where the ball hit the ground? Because it didn’t, that’s why,” Gronkowski said to reporters after the game. ” I put my hand underneath the ball. I know for sure I caught it. I just don’t understand why it wasn’t a touchdown. It didn’t show any evidence of it hitting the ground. I know it didn’t. My fingers were underneath it. It tilted up the ball, and I knew it was right there. And I brought it in, and it landed on my forearm when I brought it in, and I knew exactly.
“I went up to Coach [Belichick], and he’s like, ‘Are you sure?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m sure, man.’ I would never say that if I wasn’t 100 percent sure, because you don’t want to lose that kind of trust. And I thought I caught it, man. I know I caught it. My fingers were underneath it.”
Based on the photo and video below, it does appear as if Gronkowski was able to get his hands under the ball before it could hit the turf. He rolled to his right and got his forearm under the ball to make what looked like a completed catch, but the officials believed there was not enough video evidence to rule that the ball never touched the ground and the pass was actually complete.
Rob Gronkowski reaches to catch a ball that was ruled incomplete in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos. (Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
The video reveals that Gronk may have been down just before the goal line anyway, but this sure looks like a completed catch:
For Gronkowski, it’s frustrating that the technology available with replay could not produce a good-enough shot for the officials to be able to see that the catch was complete. The tight end can chalk it up to a questionable call on the field.