The Buffalo Bills’ dreams of swooping into Gillette Stadium and playing the role of the Grinch who stole Christmas were scuppered on Sunday when the Patriots thrashed them 16-37.
The man of the hour (again) was Rob Gronkowski when he delivered the first blow in the form of a 17-yard catch in the second quarter -- despite being heavily covered by Bills safety Micah Hyde -- which he snagged with one hand and inexplicably kept his feet inbounds.
It's already being called one of the best catches of Gronk's career and in the Top Five of the year from ANY player.
As for the means behind the magic, Gronk gave a special shout out to his chemistry with Tom Brady in his post-game interview.
"He put the ball up there where only I can go get it. I would say it started off in practice the last couple weeks. We've just been hitting the same page, practicing hard and it pays off,” Rob told reporters, according to ESPN.
"It was a great catch, spectacular,” Brady marveled. "It was man coverage, I was trying to give him a back-shoulder [throw] and it was probably a foot further back than I wanted to. He's got incredible control, hand-eye coordination, and that was a big play in the game.
"Any time you can throw it to Rob, it's a good play,” TB12 added.
The Pats took a firm grasp of the game in the third quarter when Gronk drew a 29-yard pass-interference penalty on safety Trae Elston in the end zone to set up a Mike Gillislee one-yard touchdown run.
Gronk finished the game with one touchdown, and five receptions for 67 yards.
In a game when the Bills wanted nothing more than to take down the Buffalo native, they royally failed.
And don’t think that Number 87 has forgotten that he was passed over by the Bills in the 2010 draft in favor of Torell Troup (who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2014, go figure).
"When your hometown team passes on you twice in the draft, you kind of remember it still. No lie, I remember it every single time I play them," he told reporters from his current hometown of Foxboro.
The Patriots have now clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs with a little help from Jimmy Garoppolo. Yes, we know he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers a few weeks ago, but the Niners' surprise victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon gave the Pats a leg up in the AFC.
Thanks Jimmy G., we still love ya!
Check out some of our favorite Gronk fans getting into the Christmas spirit in the pics below. And a merry Gronkmas to you all!