Is Rob Gronkowski in his prime?

Rob Gronkowski playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rob Gronkowski playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Giovani Izidorio Cesconetto

Rob Gronkowski needs no introduction. The tight end may easily be the greatest of all time in this position.

After a year of retirement (2019), Gronk returned last year to play with Tom Brady for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If his numbers were good last season, in the first two games of the 2021 NFL season, his numbers are excellent.

Really is amazing how Rob Gronkowski suddenly looks like in-his-prime Gronk again. He's got two touchdowns through 17 minutes in Tampa.

Gronkowski career numbers

Games: 133

Receptions: 578

Yards: 8,613

Average: 14.88 yds

Touchdowns: 90

Gronkowski best career season (2011) numbers

Games: 16

Receptions: 90

Yards: 1,327

Average: 14.7 yds

Touchdowns: 17

Gronkowski worst career-season (2016) numbers

Games: 8

Receptions: 25

Yards: 540

Average: 21.6 yds

Touchdowns: 3

Gronkowski after two games this season (2021)

Games: 2

Receptions: 12

Yards: 129

Average: 10.8 yds

Touchdowns: 4

Gronkowski projected numbers (2021)

Games: 17

Receptions: 102

Yards: 1,105

Average: 10.8 yds

Touchdowns: 34

Is Rob Gronkowski in his prime?

Looking at the projected numbers, Gronkowski is on pace to shatter his best career season and his prime. At least in terms of touchdowns.

That is something to pay attention to. Usually, people see Gronkowski and imagine him as a party guy, someone that is more worried about having fun than studying the playbook.

However, time and time again, Gronkowski has shown how intelligent he really is.

First, last week Chris Gronkowski, Gronk's older brother, said:

"Last time you guys asked if he was coming back, I said 'no,' I said 'I'd be shocked,' so, now here we are, two years later, and we're asking how long he's going to play for. But really, I think the answer is 'as long as Tom plays.' It's whatever Tom has left; I think that's what Rob has left as well. I just can't see him playing with another quarterback."

The Brady-Gronkowski connection is currently the best in the NFL and is probably the greatest in the history of the league.

After the pair's four touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season, Brady and Gronkowski are now in third place as the duo with the most touchdowns during the regular season. Only Peyton Manning-Marvin Harrison (112) and Philip Rivers-Antonio Gates (89) have more touchdowns than the Buccaneers' pair.

Considering the postseason, Brady-Gronkowski surpasses Rivers-Gates with 102 touchdowns. Manning-Harrison still holds the lead with 114 touchdowns in total.

Second, the numbers do not lie. Gronkowski is no longer a player for big yards per game. He is, however, a reliable receiver—someone to throw the ball to in a 3rd and eight. That is why the projections put him receiving 100+ passes this regular season.

Gronkowski is the most prominent end zone threat in the NFL. If he and Brady find a way to sustain this ridiculous average of two TDs per game, Gronkowski will finish the regular season with 34 TDs! Thirty-four! If this happens miraculously, Gronk will finish the season with more TDs than some starting quarterbacks, which is ridiculous.

Gronkowski is in his prime, not physically but mentally. He understands his body's limitations, which allows him to be the best he can be. The best Gronkowski is something that every NFL team should fear.

Edited by Henno van Deventer
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