Morning sports update: 5 standout stats from Rob Gronkowski’s career

Also: One (shining) bracket remains perfect and some Patriots postseason trivia.

Rob Gronkowski making on his 12 postseason touchdown catches in Super Bowl XLIX.
Rob Gronkowski making on his 12 postseason touchdown catches in Super Bowl XLIX. –CHANG W. LEE

The Celtics lost to the Spurs on Sunday, 115-96, and the Revolution lost to FC Cincinnati at Gillette Stadium, 2-0.

The Bruins are in Tampa tonight to play the Lightning at 7:30 p.m.

Some of Rob Gronkowski’s best stats: The main story for New England sports fans on Sunday was Rob Gronkowski’s decision to retire from football. He exits the NFL as unquestionably one of the best tight ends of all time.

At his best, Gronkowski was nearly unstoppable as a weapon in the Patriots’ offense. Even though he’s retiring at 29, he still ranks either at or near the top of many statistical categories measuring players’ entire careers.

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Consider:

  • Gronkowski has the most touchdowns per game of any tight end in NFL history (0.69)
  • He has the most touchdown receptions of any player in Patriots history (79), having broken Stanley Morgan’s record in 65 fewer games.
  • In 2011, Gronkowski smashed the single season record for touchdown catches by a tight end, with 17.
  • After growing up near Buffalo, Gronkowski compiled his best stats against the Bills, scoring 12 touchdowns against his hometown team in 15 games.

And, though it’s not an official stat yet, this could likely come to fruition:

Trivia: Gronkowski ranks second all-time in postseason touchdown receptions with 12 (trailing only Jerry Rice’s mind-boggling total of 22). Other than Randy Moss, which other Patriot is in the top 25 of the list with seven postseason touchdown catches? (Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round, and has touchdown catches in multiple Super Bowls. Urban Meyer was his position coach for three years in college.

More from Boston.com:

A final act for the ages: Gronkowski’s final season ended with a victory parade. His final playoff run culminated in a Super Bowl win, and his final catch set up the winning touchdown. As he leaves the NFL, it’s clear that Gronkowski left it all on the field in his final act. [The Boston Globe]

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker agrees with Tedy Bruschi:

One bracket still stands: After a frantic opening two rounds of the men’s NCAA Tournament, millions of brackets from fans and experts were in ruins. After all, prior to this year, no bracket had ever made it through the first 48 games with 100 percent accuracy, according to the NCAA. But that changed over the weekend, thanks to “Center Road.” [NCAA]

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This is how close Duke came to crashing out of the NCAA Tournament:

On this day: In 1971, the Boston Patriots officially became the New England Patriots. The Boston Globe’s Will McDonough wrote that, “Although it has been denied, the motive for the move was the city’s failure to go through on a stadium when the team was fighting for its existence in the Boston area a year ago.”

Patriots owner Billy Sullivan enthusiastically embraced his team “representing all of New England, not just the city of Boston.” But he lamented that the league “still has $24,000 worth of Boston Patriots merchandise in stock.”

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And in 2014, Everton’s Ross Barkley capped a 70-yard run with a thundering finish:

Daily highlight: Some of Gronkowski’s best plays as a Patriot.

Trivia answer: David Givens