The Patriots were a relatively happy bunch after Sunday night’s 41-16 win over the Denver Broncos. Tight end Rob Gronkowski did have one quibble though. He was upset that his attempt to catch a touchdown from Tom Brady in the second quarter was ruled incomplete.
“I didn’t see any replays or anything like that, but did you guys see any time where the ball hit the ground? That’s because it didn’t. That’s why. I put my hand underneath the ball. I know for sure I caught it and I just don’t understand why it wasn’t a TD,’’ said Gronkowski when asked about the play in his postgame press conference.
Tom Brady’s throw over the middle was a bit low, forcing Gronkowski to dive to his right to attempt to catch the ball. The big tight end immediately jumped up and insisted that he made the catch, but an official came running in from upfield and signaled that the ball hit the ground.
“It didn’t show [any] evidence of it hitting the ground. I know it didn’t,’’ said Gronkowski. “My fingers were underneath it. It tilted up the ball and I knew it was right there, I brought it in, it landed on my forearm, I brought it in and I knew exactly.’’
The Patriots challenged the call, but the ruling was upheld. It was a play that probably would not have been overturned either way. Had it been initially ruled a touchdown, it would have probably remained a good catch even after further review.
“I went up to [Patriots head] coach [Bill Belichick] and he’s like, ‘Are you sure?’ And I was 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. I thought I caught it. I know I caught it. My fingers were underneath it.’’
Brady took the blame for there being any question around the call.
“He felt like he made it. He said ‘I’m sure I caught that.’ Sometimes when you play on the road, you don’t get the benefit of some of the calls. It’s bang-bang,’’ said Brady on WEEI Monday morning. “I should have made a better throw. I don’t really care how it was ruled. I should have made a better throw to him.’’