Why was Rob Gronkowski on the field for the final play in the Miami Miracle?
Dolphins Beat the Patriots on a Wild Last Second Lateral Play https://t.co/JdTvGAfFkc
— SportsGossip.com (@sportsgossip) December 9, 2018
Gronk is always part of the Hail Mary defense to utilize his height and bat the ball down.
But with the Dolphins having the ball at their own 31-yard line, a Hail Mary was highly unlikely.
“We knew what was going to go down. They’re too far to throw a Hail Mary, so we knew it was going to be a lateral situation,” safety Duron Harmon admitted after the 34-33 loss, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be a Hail Mary. He would have had to throw the ball pretty far to reach the end zone,” added safety Devin McCourty.
After the game, Belichick was asked why he had Gronk playing in that specific situation.
“Well, they could throw it deeper,” Belichick said. “They could have run the Desperado-type play, which is kind of an in between 20-yard pass, then it turned into a Desperado.”
The simpler observation is that the Patriots simply flubbed the situation by having Gronk on the field.
Gronk was in because that is a "last play" defense. The last play can be a hail mary pass. In a situation where chances of a hail mary are low, the "jumper" (Gronk) should be substituted for another safety/DB. For tackling purposes. That was not done.
— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) December 9, 2018
Gronk didn’t question the call, but admitted his inability to make a play.
“The way it ended, it sucked,” Gronkowski said, via The Athletic. “I’ve never really been a part of anything like that. I feel like it’s going to test our character big time to bounce back from something like that. I’ve just got to make that tackle.”
Belichick is always trying to be the smartest guy on the field, and usually is.
Bill Belichick Live Postgame Press Conference: https://t.co/wqF7HzK22g
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 9, 2018
Yesterday, he was not.