Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski hadn’t connected for a touchdown pass throughout the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ first three rounds of the playoffs.
Perhaps the all-time great tandem was waiting for the biggest stage.
Brady hit Gronkowski for an 8-yard touchdown in the first quarter in Sunday’s Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs to set the outright playoff record for most passing touchdowns by a quarterback-pass catcher tandem in NFL history.
It was the 13th Brady-Gronkowski postseason scoring hookup, breaking a tie at 12 with San Francisco 49ers all-time greats Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. The score was the first touchdown of the game — and the first first-quarter TD of Brady’s Super Bowl career — and propelled the Bucs to a 7-3 lead with 43 seconds left in the opening stanza. Brady found Gronkowski for another score in the second quarter, hitting him on a 17-yard TD pass to extend the Bucs’ lead to 14-3 with 6:05 to go in the first half.
With his first TD grab, Gronkowski also vaulted into second all-time with 13 playoff touchdown catches, breaking another tie at 12 with Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer John Stallworth. He raised that to 14 with his second score. Rice sits in first far ahead at 22.
The first-quarter score was Gronkowski’s first postseason score since a two-touchdown outing in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to end the 2017 season.
With his second score on Sunday, Gronkowski joined Rice in becoming the only two players with multiple touchdown catches in multiple Super Bowls.
Gronkowski emerged from a one-year retirement to join Brady in Tampa Bay in each of their first NFL seasons outside of New England.
Gronkowski’s return regular season saw him tally 45 receptions for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. However, leading into Sunday, Gronkowski had hauled in only two catches on seven targets for 43 yards across the Buccaneers’ first three playoff games.
That changed Sunday when Gronkowski caught the fourth and fifth Super Bowl touchdowns of his future Hall of Fame career.
Source: Read Full Article