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Gronkowski On Miami's Miracle Touchdown: 'I Have To Make That Tackle'

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Rob Gronkowski was his usual self Sunday afternoon in Miami. He was back to being the All Pro tight end that Patriots fans have seen dominate the field.

Unfortunately, he was not an All Pro safety, on the field for the Dolphins' stunning, last-second touchdown in New England's 34-33 defeat. Gronkowski could not run down Kenyan Drake, taking an awkward angle as the running back raced 52 yards up the right sideline and into the end zone to give Miami their improbable victory.

Despite filling the stat sheet on the offensive side with eight catches for 107 yards and a touchdown, Gronkowski was pretty hard on himself for the play he didn't make at the end of the loss.

"I didn't think it was going to get to me and then I saw the guy trucking down the field," he explained. "You saw what happened from there. ... I have to make that tackle."

Gronkowski was one of three New England "safeties" on the field for the last-second play, ready to pounce should Ryan Tannehill rear back for a Hail Mary attempt. Instead, Miami opted for a short play in hopes of it turning into something bigger, which caught the Patriots a little off guard.

"You have to be ready for anything. ... The way it ended, it sucked," said Gronkowski. "Never really been a part of anything like that, and I feel like it's going to test our character big-time, how we bounce back from that.

"I did trip a little bit, but that's football. That's why they say it's a game of inches. A game of a split-second here and there. That gave me a lesson that shows that's true," he added.

Gronkowski is far from the only player to blame for Miami's game-winning, 69-yard play. Jonathan Jones, Kyle Van Noy, Trey Flowers, Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson -- all actual defensive players -- had a chance to get to any of the three Dolphins who touched the ball, but all failed to make a play. The Patriots win as a team and they lose as a team, and Sunday is no exception.

Gronkowski did feel pretty good about his offensive performance, as he made giant impacts in both in the passing game and with his blocking. He even caught his first red zone targets of the season, and now has touchdowns in two of the last three games.

But those stats meant very little to Gronkowski on Sunday afternoon.

"If you don't get the W, it really doesn't matter. You have to be ready to play 60 minutes of football every time you touch the field," he said.

The loss dropped New England to 9-4 on the season and just 3-4 away from Gillette Stadium. Now they have to try to bounce back from such a gigantic letdown next Sunday with a road matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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