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NFL Playoffs Patriots vs Broncos: TE Rob Gronkowski is Denver's Biggest Nightmare

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The New England Patriots have the best tight end in the league. That's not up for debate. The 6'6, 265 lbs Rob Gronkowski is generally unstoppable for most teams because it's nearly impossible to have a defender that can match his size and strength on a regular basis.

Last week against the Chiefs, Gronkowski posted 7 receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs ranked 2nd in defending tight ends over the regular season, per DVOA, and 4th in fantasy points per tight end target (the Patriots ranked 15th and 5th, respectively). The Broncos are a step down from Kansas City when it comes to defending tight ends.

This past regular season marked the first time in six attempts that the Broncos managed to beat a Patriots team with Rob Gronkowski, and Gronk didn't finish the game. Gronk has averaged 6.7 receptions on 8.7 targets for 86 yards and a touchdown over the prior six games against Denver.

The Patriots definitely went heavy with their tight ends earlier in the year, as Scott Chandler tied a career-high with 11 targets for 5 receptions, 58 yards, and a touchdown. Chandler faced 11 targets in a single game while with Buffalo in 2014. The opponent was also Denver.

Of course, New England was without wide receivers Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola, who ranked 1st and 5th on the Patriots in targets per game (sandwiching Gronkowski, Dion Lewis, and Brandon LaFell). Chandler might not see as much field time as he did in the regular season, but that could just mean more for Gronk.

If Gronkowski is able to put up his traditional numbers against this Broncos defense, the Patriots will be in great position to walk away with a victory.