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All hail the Gronk

When you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner this year, and think backon everything you’re thankful for, don’t forget one very importantperson.

When you sit down for your Thanksgiving dinner this year, and think back on everything you’re thankful for, don’t forget one very important person:

Rob Gronkowski.

Make no mistake about it, there hasn’t been a single more important part of this Patriots team than that of the second-year tight end.

So just how vital to the team’s success as “Gronk” been? There’s not enough space to explain but here’s a short list that should sum it up nicely:

With his two touchdowns last night, Gronkowski reached 20 touchdowns in the fewest games among tight ends in NFL history. It took Gronk just 26 games, passing the previous record holder, Mike Ditka, at 31 games.

His 20 touchdowns since 2010 are tops among NFL tight ends, with Jason Witten in second (14). In fact, Gronk is only behind Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (23) in receiving touchdowns since 2010.

He has back-to-back 10-touchdown seasons, one of only four players in the history of the organization that can say that.

Gronkowski’s 53-yard TD reception on Sunday was the longest of his career, and it all had to do with his ability to run after the catch.

“The great thing about Gronk is he took a couple of plays that had a few yards to them but turned them into big plays with his ability to break tackles there in the secondary and run through people,” Bill Belichick said. “The run after the catch was huge in his production last night.”