Key Moment: Gronkowski gets loose for go-ahead score
|11.14.11 at 1:03 am ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For the Patriots, the key moment in Sunday’s win over the Jets came at the end of the first half. With New England in a 9-6 hole because of a safety taken by quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots responded with a six-play, 80-yard drive that took 1:11 and ended with an 18-yard pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski deep over the middle that gave New England a 13-9 advantage.
Gronkowski finished with eight catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns in the win, but his work on that drive — where he accounted for 55 of the 80 total yards — was immense in giving the Patriots a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
‘It was a very important drive,’ Gronkowski said. ‘They were up, and we had to go back into halftime and put some points up. We had about a minute and a half, and everyone did well. Everyone executed well. It was a good overall drive.’
‘I think we put players out there we think that can produce when they get the opportunity,’ said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. ‘Rob got some chances tonight, and he made them count. But other guys have done that too. Wes [Welker], Deion [Branch], [Danny Woodhead] Chad Johnson, Ocho, whoever, pick one. They’ve all had their chances and we feel like they can all be productive.’
With the win, the Patriots move into sole possession of first place in the AFC East.
‘It was definitely a big win,’ Gronkowski said. ‘Coming on the road, you have to win road games. It was huge. It was for first place in the division, but we have many more games. We have to take them one game at a time… but it was definitely a big victory.’