Rob Gronkowski Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week

Here’s the release from the New England Patriots about tight end Rob Gronkowski being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that Rob Gronkowski has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week by the National Football League for his performance in the Patriots’ 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins last Sunday. It is the first Player of the Week honor for Gronkowski.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) signals a first down after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the first half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, December 11, 2011.Gronkowski caught six passes for a career-high 160 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins. He extended his NFL record for overall touchdowns in a single season by a tight end to 16 (15 receiving and 1 rushing) with his two touchdown receptions against the Redskins. His 14th and 15th touchdown receptions of the season established an NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a season by a tight end. He entered the Washington game tied with Vernon Davis (San Francisco in 2009) and Antonio Gates (San Diego in 2004) with 13 touchdown receptions.

Additionally, Gronkowski became just the second New England tight end to go over 1,000 yards for the season after the 160 yards pushed his 2011 total to 1,088. TE Ben Coates set the franchise mark for a tight end with 1,174 yards in 1994. It is the 31st time in NFL history that a tight end has registered a 1,000-yard season. Gronkowski needs 203 yards in the final three games to set the NFL record for most yards in a season by a tight end, held by Kellen Winslow, who had 1,290 yards in 1980 with San Diego.

Gronkowski had three long plays in the game against the Redskins. He set up the Patriots first offensive touchdown with a 49-yard reception. He had a 50-yard reception in the second quarter. The 50-yarder is second in his career to his 52-yard touchdown vs. Kansas City on Nov. 21, 2011. He also added a 37-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

It is the fifth Player of the Week honor for the Patriots in 2011. Tom Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week following the first two games of the season at Miami on Sept. 12 and vs. San Diego on Spt. 18, Andre Carter was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week following the win at the Jets on Nov. 13 and Julian Edelman was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week following the win vs. Kansas City on Nov. 21.

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Photo credit: Reuters Pictures