In our second installment of “Was Jalen Ramsey Right?” we had the pleasure of watching the Jacksonville Jaguars absolutely dominate the New England Patriots today by a score of 31-20 — close only because Tom Brady decided to score a garbage time touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Jalen was specifically critical of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski — a two-time Super Bowl champion who, in Ramsey’s words, isn’t as good as people make him out to be. Put better defenders on him and he’s nothing special.
Here are Ramsey’s comments about Gronk in this summer’s ESPN The Magazine article:
“I don’t think Gronk’s good.” Registering my involuntary blinking, he course-corrects. “Let me say — I don’t think Gronk is as great as people think he is.” Before the Patriots game, he explains, he had the Jaguars’ analytics staffers pull some numbers for him. “Any time Gronk has been matched up with a corner, he’s had a very bad game -- and that corner has had a very good game.” (Gronk has performed much better when lined up in the slot than he has on the perimeter, where he’s more likely to encounter elite corners — his catch rate drops from 71 percent to 56 percent, which is lower than that of the average NFL tight end.)
I ask him what Gronk did in the AFC championship. “Literally nothing. He may have had, like, one catch,” he says. (Ramsey is correct, though Gronkowski left before halftime because of a concussion.).”
Gronkowski finished today with just two catches for 15 yards on four targets. He was covered by a range of defenders today, which included free safety Tashaun Gipson, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and strong safety Barry Church.
His longest catch of the day was a nine-yarder.
Verdict: Ramsey was right.