Sunday night’s showdown between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will feature two of the best tight ends in the game today.
Two of the best? Probably the two best tight ends in the NFL will make their case as the top tight end when Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots take on Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
Yes, we see you Zach Ertz, but one of the subplots in the Week 6 battle will focus on a debate that has been emerging over the last few seasons.
Who is the better tight end: Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce?
Both 29 years old, Gronkowski and Kelce have proved to be uncover-able forces in the NFL over the past few seasons. Gronk, being the bigger of the two, has played in the league longer, but hasn’t been as durable as the smaller Kelce.
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Add durability to the numbers the Chiefs tight end has put over the last few seasons and anyone can make a case as to why Travis Kelce has supplanted Rob Gronkowski as the top tight end.
Then again, the fact Kelce has been labeled Gronk 2.0 shows how dominant Gronkowski has been since he has entered the league. His ability to make the kind of plays he makes while being double teamed as well as his ability to block will give the nod to Gronkowski for anyone looking for a true tight end.
True tight end?
Well, Kelce fits more of the mode of a Jimmy Graham. He is more of a big receiver able to use shiftiness to create more explosive plays in the offense. Gronkowski just plows people over and run through them. But, also, when he is not catching passes from Tom Brady, he does the little things the team ask. On a physical level, he is definitely better.
Cris Collinsworth pretty much summed it up perfectly when asked which tight end he preferred during a conference call with the media.
“It’s interesting,” the NBC analyst said. “I would’ve said Rob for a long time. But I’ve gotta say it’s getting a little closer in my mind…The big tie-breaker for me was Gronkowski’s ability to block. We see him on some of those tight end wham plays where he just devastates defensive linemen. His pass-blocking ability in their seven-man protections are a real key I think in my ways for that offense….”
It’s also worth mentioning that Travis Kelce has had better offensive weapons around him this year so his overall production gives him the edge over Gronkowski this season.
That may change with Julian Edelman back and Josh Gordon working his way into the New England Patriots offense. Gronkowski showed in Week 15 last season the way he can dominate the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he is unleashed.
As far as the debate goes, both are tremendous offensive weapons both teams are lucky to have.
Rob Gronkowski on Travis Kelce
When it comes to this latest hot topic debate, Rob Gronkowski is leaving it up to everyone else.
The big No. 87 rather doe his talking on the field and focus on doing whatever his team needs him to do to win.
“…I just try to be the best I can be every single week, do my job every single week,” Gronkowski said Wednesday. “The rankings and all that, the comparisons, all that, I’ll leave that up to you guys, whatever you guys say. But I just try to do my best. I think he’s a great player and I’ve just got to worry about what I can do to help out the team.”
While both dominant on the field, the biggest difference between the two may be the talk they do off the field. Travis Kelce has not held back saying he thinks he is the best in the league. While Rob Gronkowski may believe the same, he certainly isn’t giving anyone any bulletin board material.
When the New England Patriots take on the Kanas City Chiefs on Sunday night, this will likely be a debate that picks up even more steam rather than one that will be settled in just one game.