‘We keep each other going’: Here’s how Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski made NFL history on Sunday

Brady and Gronkowski connected twice on Sunday.

Tom Brady Rob Gronkowski
Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates his touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons with teammate Tom Brady. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Few things in professional football feel as inevitable as Tom Brady, but a close second might be Brady’s connection with his good friend and former Patriots teammate Rob Gronkowski.

On Sunday, Brady and Gronkowski moved a little closer to NFL history with a pair of touchdown connections that moved them into second all-time as a duo. Brady and Gronkowski have now connected on 90 touchdowns, trailing only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison at a staggering 114.

“It’s a lot of hard work put in,” Gronkowski said after the game. “A lot of dedication, a lot of effort, energy, no doubt about that. But we keep each other going. When I’m not feeling it, sometimes he boosts me up. The one time he’s not really feeling it, I can boost him up, but it’s a connection. We go way back. We’re just glad that we still got it and we can help out the team.”


Brady hit Gronkowski for the first touchdown midway through the second quarter, a bullet that found the burly tight end near the 20-yard line. Gronkowski carried it the rest of the way.

“He’s a great player,” Brady said. “He kind of makes it easy for any quarterback. He’s just so big, so quick, great hands, just does an amazing job. That was a great catch and run he had, and then threw him the fade for the touchdown which was really cool. He makes those pretty easy too.”

The second touchdown was a fade to the corner of the end zone late in the third quarter — a play that will likely look very familiar to Patriots fans.

“I would say that second touchdown definitely brought it back to the heyday with the fade,” Gronkowski said, smiling. “He gave me an audible, and I wasn’t supposed to have a fade, but he saw it and it just reminded me of the heyday with us.”

Later, Brady was informed that Gronkowski got nostalgic over the fade touchdown.

“Oh really? I like the heyday,” Brady said, smiling.

Do Brady and Gronkowski have a few more fades in their system?

“I think so,” Brady said. “I think so. It’s good to see him make those plays. He was out for quite a while this year, so just to see him back playing great and really enjoying it is fun for me. It’s fun seeing other guys play to their potential. He’s done an amazing job of that.”


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