x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Gronkowski's two touchdowns lead Patriots past Chiefs

Brady and co dominate Kansas to improve to 7-3 after 34-3 victory in New England.

Rob Gronkowski, second left, the New England Patriots tight end, dives into the end zone against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rob Gronkowski, second left, the New England Patriots tight end, dives into the end zone against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Rob Gronkowski somersaulted into the end zone, staggered to his feet and still managed to spike the ball.

"I was just fine," the Patriots star tight end said. "I just got the wind knocked out of me a little bit."

New England were more than fine after looking groggy on offence early in the game before finishing big with a 34-3 win over the Kansas City Chiefs last night.

Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes to Gronkowski, who has five in his past three games. Julian Edelman returned a punt 72 yards for another score and Kyle Arrington had two of the Patriots three interceptions.

"We try to be a very opportunistic defence," Arrington said, "and when plays like that present themselves, you've got to capitalise on them. And if I can get into the end zone one of these times, that would be good, too."

The Patriots (7-3) didn't need him to do that when they increased their AFC East lead to two games.

The Chiefs (4-6) weren't expected to do much on offence behind untested quarterback Tyler Palko, who threw three interceptions in his first career start with Matt Cassel injured. And they didn't, managing just a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Succop with 1:30 left in the first quarter for their only lead.

"Three interceptions is inexcusable," Palko said. "The game is hard enough as it is without making mistakes."

With Gronkowski collecting his ninth and 10th TD receptions of the season, the Patriots had their second straight dominant game after beating the New York Jets 37-16. The Chiefs lost their third straight.

Gronkowski has 20 touchdowns in 26 games, surpassing Mike Ditka's mark of 31 for the fewest games needed by a tight end to reach 20 touchdowns. He also pulled within three of the single-season, tight end record of 13 touchdown receptions held by Antonio Gates of San Diego and Vernon Davis of San Francisco.

"Everyone's doing their job and I just happen to be an open guy and Tom hits me in the end zone," Gronkowski said.