Former Patriots critical of decision to have Rob Gronkowski on field for final Dolphins TD


Most New England Patriots fans likely were perplexed when they saw tight end Rob Gronkowski on the field for the Miami Dolphins' final play of Sunday's Week 14 game, and many of the team's former players were confused as well.

Gronkowski was on the field for Hail Mary defense, but the Dolphins needed to go nearly 70 yards and Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill couldn't launch a ball that far, especially not when banged up a bit. Completing a pass and using a few laterals was the Dolphins' best option, and it miraculously worked as Kenyan Drake eventually caught the final lateral and ran into the end zone for an improbable game-winning touchdown.

Gronkowski was the last man Drake had to beat, and the Dolphins running back beat him fairly easily given his decided speed advantage. The decision to have Gronk on the field was met with plenty of criticism from former Patriots players after the 34-33 loss.

You don't often see these players criticize Belichick, but in this case the blame certainly is warranted. Putting a tight end like Gronkowski on the field instead of your best tackler and defensive player in Devin McCourty is as confusing as it gets.

It wasn't the only poor decision from the Patriots in the game, though. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady thought he had another timeout when he took a costly sack at the end of the first half that took away a chip shot field goal attempt. The Patriots usually don't shoot themselves in the foot, but they certainly did Sunday and it likely cost them a real chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

READ MORE: Patriots road to No. 1 seed now very tough>>

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