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Rob Gronkowski: Last few weeks showed how strong Patriots are as team

Ryan Hannable
December 31, 2018 - 9:24 am

FOXBORO -- It was an up and down season for Rob Gronkowski and the entire Patriots team.

Gronkowski had his moments, but also had times where he didn't look himself at all. After a monster Week 1, the tight end was a shell of himself due to nagging ankle/back injuries that eventually forced him to miss three out of the four games before the bye week. A few weeks ago he had his best game of the season against the Dolphins in Miami, but then last week against the Bills he didn't have a single catch.

That's pretty much how the entire year has gone.

Most recently, it was Tom Brady getting scrutiny for his play of late, but he responded with one of his better games of the year Sunday against the Jets. The 41-year-old was 24-for-33 with 250 yards and four touchdowns.

After the 38-3 win, Gronkowski spoke of the criticism Brady received over the last week and noted he's played in New England long enough to know how it works, but also noted the team has stuck together all year and that's helped them get through the down parts of the season.

“Being here for awhile now, many years, I am pretty sure I am used to the ups and the downs that we were talking about," he said. "It’s part of the game, part of the process, and you just have to ignore the noise. You just have to stay focused and everyone within the locker room, we just have to keep putting our heads forward, keep looking to get better every single week, and that is what we’ve been doing. 

“One huge thing too is we’ve been sticking together. When people are down, everyone has been coming together, everyone has been lifting each other up and we’ve just been staying strong together. I believe it’s showed just how strong we are as a team throughout the end of the season.”

Relating to the Patriots as a team, they suffered two extremely tough losses on the road in Weeks 14 and 15, but rebounded with two wins at home to close the year and earn a first-round bye.

The Patriots are the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and will host a divisional round game Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m.

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