However, Hill was unable to prevent Gronkowski from utilizing his imposing 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame to quickly gain a position of strength and a sound angle for quarterback Tom Brady to deliver the football to him in the third quarter.
When Gronkowski scored on a 5-yard touchdown, it brought his team to within one possession, trailing, 28-21. The Ravens later surrendered a two-touchdown lead for the second time in the game — an eventual 35-31 loss.
Gronkowski caught seven passes for a game-high 108 yards while being targeted 13 times, clearly winning the matchup against the Ravens secondary despite Hill’s opinion to the contrary. Gronkowski also exploited some one-on-one matchups against rookie inside linebacker C.J. Mosley for some of his production.
“I believe I got the better of him throughout the day,” Hill said. “When we were on the field, I was able to get hands on him. When we were in man coverage, they didn’t throw to him except for that one time on the goal line.”
An All-Pro selection, Gronkowski caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season.
"We just stuck together as a team and took it one play at a time," Gronkowski said. "We knew we couldn't put up two touchdowns in one play, so we just stuck together, got first downs and we came through."