Jan 18, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the third quarter in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
5. Who Stops Rob Gronkowski?
The answer is that there is no one Seahawks player who will take on the Rob Gronkowski alone. It will be a team effort to stop the 6’6″ 265 lbs. matchup nightmare who caught 82 passes this season. The bulk of the burden will go on Kam Chancellor, Seattle’s strong safety.
The Seahawks will play physical with Gronkowski at the line of scrimmage. They may put a linebacker over top him to rough him up for the first five yards. That linebacker will play underneath and Chancellor will be manned up on the tight end. This is called bracketing the tight end.
The Seahawks play with Earl Thomas as the deep middle safety. This often is with man coverage on the outside or Cover 3. If the Patriots want to go deep, no matter who the target they will have to worry about Thomas.
Next: 4. The Patriots Run Defense Against Beast Mode