Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is shredding the record books in 2011. In the last two weeks -- in games against Indianapolis and Washington, Gronkowski has scored milestone touchdowns that set NFL records for a tight end.
In the Dec. 4 win over the Colts, Gronkowski caught his 13th touchdown pass of the season, which tied him with Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates for most single-season TD receptions by a tight end in NFL history. He then scored on a 2-yard rush off a lateral to set a record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a season with 14.
Fast forward to Dec. 11 in Washington and Gronkowski skied for an 11-yard touchown reception that set a new NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end in a season. He then tacked on another after a breaking a tackle and rumbling into the end zone. Through 13 games in 2011, Gronkowski has 16 TDs and 15 TD receptions.
With 15 TD receptions so far this year and 10 last year as a rookie, Gronkowski holds the two spots in franchise history for TD receptions by a tight end. Patriots Hall of Famer Ben Cotes' top mark was nine receiving TDs in 1996.
Gronkowski also set another francise record Sunday in Washington when he caught a touchdown pass for the sixth consecutive game. Randy Moss, Daniel Graham, Michael Timpson and Jimmy Colclough caught TD passes in five straight games. The Patriots record for most consecutive games with a touchdown is seven and is held by Curtis Martin.
With his career-best 160-yard receiving day in Washington, Gronkowski eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season and now has 1,088 yards. Coates holds the franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,174. Gronk is on pace to reach 1,339 yards, which would break the NFL record for a tight end, which is held by Kellen Winslow and was set in 1980.
The game footballs that Rob Gronkowski used to tie and then set the record for most touchdowns by a tight end in a season are now on display as part of the Building Blocks exhibit at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.