Rob Gronkowski was the real MVP of Super Bowl LV
Super Bowl LV is in the bag and it was a hell of a surprise in Tampa as the Bucs not only shook off their underdog tag to beat the reigning champs, but absolutely blitzed them. Kansas City signal caller Patrick Mahomes was under more pressure from the start, and Tampa Bay took advantage of the QB’s injured toe and a beat-up offensive line to put Mahomes on the deck as many times as they could.
On offense, the Bucs were ruthless and efficient, with Tom Brady making history by collecting his seventh Super Bowl ring as he completed 21 of his 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Brady protected the ball and reaffirmed his position as the G.O.A.T., so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him pick up Super Bowl LV MVP honors.
But really, that award should’ve gone to Rob Gronkowski.
Gronk is the NFL's best comeback story in years
And to truly appreciate why Gronk is our MVP, let’s go back to the start. He retired! Gronk hunk up his cleats in March 2019 with three Super Bowl rings and went on to do other things. He appeared on The Masked Singer as the White Tiger, he hosted WWE WrestleMania and won the 24/7 title, he appeared in a music video for Kygo, and captained a team on the sports-based comedy show Game On.
It was a busy year, and then the call came from Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Gronk returned to football and picked up right where he left off. In the virtual training scenarios in preseason the players were required to do sprints each day and submit their videos – Gronk would do all his in one session and wear a different shirt each time so he could put his feet up for the rest of the week. He is everybody’s hero.
Gronk came alive in Super Bowl LV
After a solid season, Gronk barely got a look from Brady in the playoffs before Tampa. Through three games he got seven targets and turned them into just two catches for 43 yards. And then came Super Bowl LV…
Gronk lit up the biggest stage of them all like only Gronk can. With just 37 seconds of the first quarter left, Brady found Gronk with an eight-yard TD pass and the Bucs took a four-point lead. That was the 13th Brady-to-Gronk postseason TD pass, which set a new NFL record.
Midway through the second quarter we got to see another Gronk spike as the tight end hauled in a 17-yard Brady pass to extend the Bucs’ lead.
Gronk did the dirty work too
And it wasn’t just his pair of TDs. Gronk was an effective blocker on the offensive line all game, helping create routes and seams for Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones II to exploit. And while Brady has plenty of offensive weapons to aim at, Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Cameron Brate were all held in check – racking up a total of just 88 yards between them.
Gronk himself hauled in six catches for 67 yards, accounting for more than a third of Tampa Bay’s net passing yards.
Gronk saved his biggest game for football's biggest stage
While his opposite tight end on the field Travis Kelce racked up another 10-reception 133-yard performance, it was Gronk who decided the fate of the Lombardi Trophy. He is the big man for the big stage and the Bucs can look forward to another season with Brady and Gronk hooking up.
And if you need any more evidence that Gronk is a legit big-game, big-time MVP, look at the two games this year where he went for six or more catches and over 50 yards. In Tampa against the Chiefs in the regular season, and in Tampa against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
12 months ago, Gronk watched the Super Bowl as a fan. This year he scored two touchdowns, led the Bucs in targets, receptions, and receiving yards and played a huge role in winning the match. He is your true MVP.