Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is the NFL’s ultimate mismatch, yet the Denver Broncos must find a way to cover the New England Patriots tight end without selling out.

According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, cornerback Aqib Talib said the defense has a plan but doesn’t have a definitive answer.

“Uh. … triple-team. It’s his size and that speed. And that quarterback.”

Gronkowski leads NFL tight ends with 843 yards and has 51 receptions as well as eight touchdowns. However, he’s not unstoppable.

Last week, the Buffalo Bills contained the 6-foot-6, 265-pound monster. Rex Ryan’s team held Gronk to a season-low two catches for 37 yards, keeping him out of the end zone for only the second time in six games.

The keys to disrupting Gronkowski aren’t limited to bumping him at the line and double-coverage. Unless the front seven successfully pressures “that quarterback” Tom Brady, the four-time Super Bowl-champion will eventually find an open target.

While Denver boasts one of the league’s best pass-rushing units when healthy, DeMarcus Ware will likely be sidelined once again. The Broncos are deep at defensive end, but Ware isn’t a fully replaceable talent opposite Von Miller.

Denver has its collective hands full stopping Brady and Gronkowski, especially if the defense sells out extra coverage—whether double or triple—on the standout tight end.

David Kenyon
Writer for Sportsnaut and Bleacher Report, mostly covering college football as well as the NFL, NBA and college basketball.