Dec 1, 2015 12:54 PM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Rob Gronkowski isn't just injured. He's unhappy about unfair treatment by the refs.
He's been flagged for more offensive pass interference calls than any other player in the NFL this season. In 11 games, there have been five accepted offensive pass interference calls on Gronkowski.
Some wondered after Sunday's overtime loss to the Broncos, when Gronkowski was flagged once again before going down with injury, if he was being targeted.
The Boston Herald's Jeff Howe expressed his thoughts on the subject this morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
"There is no question about that," said Howe. "There is not even a debate, especially after that fourth quarter OPI called on Sunday [in Denver.] That closed the book on that debate; they are going after Rob Gronkowski." “He didn’t even initiate the contact and was penalized on that play. That was the worst penalty, up there with the Malcolm Butler PI [against the Giants]. Those are the two worst penalties I’ve seen called this season against the Patriots.”
Gronkowski retweeted the interview and added his commentary, which read "agreed."
After the conflict surrounding 'Deflategate,' with Tim Brady winning his appeal, many fans and sportswriters feel that the NFL and refs may be trying to get revenge on the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Howe also said “Maybe there is something out there. How can you say those are unfair things to think after the way the NFL targeted this team? The other side is the officiating has been such a horror show all season long, and you probably have every other team in the league who can point to certain instances and say the officials bagged the game for them.The conspiracy theory is a tough one to subscribe to, but I think it’s absolutely legitimate when you look at the way they’re targeting Gronk.”
After the game, Tom Brady was asked about Sunday's call, at 5:22 left in the fourth quarter.
“I have no idea,” Brady said. “They have meetings about it, but I have no clue.”
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick was also short when speaking about the call. “I think you should talk to (the officials),” Belichick said. “Talk to the league. I’m sure they have all the answers on that, so talk to them.”