BOSTON (CBS) — In a season that has been low on quality tight end play, two of the NFL’s best will go head-to-head Sunday night in Foxboro.
Whenever you see a “Best Tight End” ranking put together by some NFL pundit or hot-taker, either New England’s Rob Gronkowski or Kansas City’s Travis Kelce sit atop the list. They’re both incredible players and dangerous weapons in their respective offenses, so you really can’t go wrong with either. Gronkowski is usually given the edge based on the fact that he actually plays a role (an important one at that) in the blocking game, while Kelce deserves bonus points for having to do most of his damage with Alex Smith throwing him the football.
The debate has raged on leading up to Week 6’s Patriots-Chiefs tilt, and it seems like a lot of people are now leaning toward Kelce. Former Colts defensive tackle and current Monday Night Football analyst Booger McFarland recently said during a broadcast that Kelce is the best in the business. To no surprise, Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes agrees with that statement.
So where does Gronk himself land in the debate? He isn’t saying.
“I just try to be the best I can be ever week,” Gronk said Wednesday. “The rankings, I’ll leave that up to you guys. I just try to do my best.”
Gronk was surprised to learn that he and Kelce are both 29 years old (“That’s pretty nuts,” he said), given he’s been in the NFL for nine seasons and Kelce just five. That gives Gronkowski the clear edge in the stats department, hauling in a ridiculous 77 touchdowns in his 107 regular season games. Kelce has played in 68 games during his career, with roughly a third of Gronk’s touchdown total (25).
But in the talent department, Gronkowski says there is no denying what Kelce can do on the field.
“He’s quick, he’s shifty. He knows how to get separation and get away from the defenders,” Gronkowski said of his Kansas City counterpart. “He’s a great player and I like watching him play when I get a chance.”
Let the great debate wage on.