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Sport Science simulates how close Rob Gronkowski could have gotten to Tom Brady pass

Rob Gronkowski catch

Just in case you thought the no-call on the final play of the “Monday Night Football” game between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers was the right decision, ESPN put their Sport Science team on the case to prove you wrong.

Sport Science says the contact between Luke Kuechly and Rob Gronkowski occurred a third of a second before Robert Lester intercepted Tom Brady’s pass. By their calculations, had Gronk not been held by Kuechly, he would have been able to stop, adjust, and make a play on the ball.

“It would have been highly improbable for Gronk to make the catch, but certainly possible,” John Brenkus concludes.

You can watch the interesting segment below. The shot above is their simulation of how close Gronk may have been able to get to the pass.



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  • CLCRichmond

    I think the refs blew it the Brooks call and the Gronkowski call sould be investigated by the FBI. And I am a Panthers fan of you’re wondering. They played fanatics but I am not going to let my loyalty Trump the reality of what we can all see.

  • RebelFlag

    The NFL should hire Sport Science to officate the games & fire the refs!

  • Liar

    But then all the officiating would take forever…

  • Joe

    They took the video down from the internet.. this reeks of a coverup at this point

  • Bob

    Interesting… only few problems here. First of all, the 8 ft 3 in reach does not explain how he covers 18 feet in one third of a second to get back to the play (your calculations). Your video has further convinced me the call was right. Also, pass interference does not come into play until the defender is impeding the receiver. You started to count the pass interference as soon as contact was made. Your timing is off, though, because the PI doesn’t start until said contact becomes an impediment to Gronkowski making 18 ft move back toward the ball. Both your ‘science’ and you ‘knowledge of the rules’ is off here.

  • Matt

    where does your 18 feet come from? From the point in which the P.I (or holding…whatever you want to call it) occurred, to the point where the ball was intercepted, there is a space of an estimated 6-8 feet. By the time the P.I/Holding was initiated by the defender, Gronk had already started slowing down and TRYING to come back to the ball…which was impeded by the defender. Sports Science proved that if the impeeding had not occurred, he had a shot at catching the ball….which is opposite of what the ref’s had stated. Bottom line, it should have been a penalty because the ball would have been catchable if the defender had not held Gronk. Whether the Pats would have scored on the very next play…who knows but they should have had an opportunity.

  • Matt

    are you serious? lol.