It’s okay to admit it, Pats’ fans — we were rooting for Tom and Gronk in their playoff game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
It has been jarring to see No. 12 playing in a Tampa Bay uniform this season — it’s like seeing your long-time ex- with someone else.
But with the Patriots’ dismal season relegating the Pats to the bottom third of the NFL (where they are destined to remain for a while), Tom and Gronk’s playoff run with the Bucs has given us something to cheer about.
True, both are only shadows of their former selves. Brady threw a lot of off-target passes and Gronk had trouble getting open. On the other hand, they connected for a key first-down deep in New Orleans territory late in the game that led to the Bucs’ clinching score.
Although it was nowhere as dramatic as that amazing catch that Gronk made late in the 2019 AFC championship game in Kansas City that propelled the Pats to another Super Bowl, it still was a vintage Brady-to-Gronk clutch play that brought a smile to the face of every New England fan. (We should note too, that Gronkowski played a huge role in the Tampa Bay running game with his blocking, just as he did with the Pats for a decade.)
Tampa Bay will face a stiff challenge in Green Bay this Sunday. The Bucs smoked the Packers in their regular-season meeting earlier in the year, but Aaron Rodgers and Co. are playing at an unreal level right now.
Let’s go Bucs — we want to see Tom and Gronk in the Super Bowl!