Eleven positions on the Lincoln Financial Field — each having its own impact on how the NFC title game will shape up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers come Sunday, January 29.
But of the 11, it’s one spot that four-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski told Heavy is the one needed “in order to win now” as he put it: The tight end spot.
“Gronk” would know from experience as strong tight end play led to the New England Patriots adding three more Vince Lombardi Trophies as an integral part of their dynasty. More recent Super Bowl winners the Los Angeles Rams, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Eagles all featured either a franchise record-breaking TE or a perennial Pro Bowler at the position. And even in retirement, Gronkowski knows the tight end has evolved into a high level of importance for championship teams — including the four remaining in the postseason.
“It’s just great to see all these tight ends that are in the championship games. You’ve got to have a good tight end in order to win now — and that’s what you’re seeing,” Gronkowski told Heavy. “You see Travis Kelce [of the Chiefs], he’s obviously the best tight end in the game, [George] Kittle I think is the best well-rounded tight end and Dallas [Goedert] is up there as one of the best well-rounded tight ends in the game and you even have a decent tight end in Hayden Hurst with the Cincinnati Bengals as well.
Gronkowski continued with, “In order to win games and get deep, I believe you’ve got to have a pretty solid tight end. It just helps the offense out tremendously.”
“Gronk” raved about the play of the Eagles’ TE1 in the fifth-year veteran Goedert, who now has more than 3,000 receiving yards in his career. Gronkowski described the Eagle as a “three-down tight end” who can block, be very sound in the passing game and use his physicality to break tackles — three traits Philly will need against the NFL’s best defense at “The Linc.”
‘Gronk’ Prediction for Sunday
For the Eagles, they’re aiming to return to the Super Bowl for the second time since 2017 — when they beat Gronkowski and the Pats. They’ve been a slight favorite to beat S.F. by the Vegas oddsmakers.
But, does “Gronk” see a fourth trip to the Super Bowl for Philly?
“I think the San Francisco 49ers are going to pull it off,” Gronkowski predicted to Heavy. “Their defense is just so sound and Nick Bosa is just rattling quarterbacks left and right. I think they’re going to pull it off.”
But about the AFC battle between Cincinnati and Kansas City?
“And then I think the Bengals are going to pull it off again. They’ve been in this position last year, they’re experienced and they know what it takes and I think it’s going to be the Bengals versus the 49ers in the Super Bowl this year,” Gronkowski said.
‘Gronk’ With Bounty
Gronkowski has set up what he called “a wonderful partnership” with the Bounty company. He’s made appearances as “the Bounty man.” He additionally released a Tik Tok video on the morning of Friday, January 27 on “how to watch football Gronk style.”
He’s also reminded NFL fans of three things they need, including for Sunday’s conference games, to complete their game day.
“I’m from Buffalo, so I know about game day rituals. You need three things: You need wings, football and Bounty. Those are the three essentials you need on gameday. And you can’t have football without wings, and you can’t wings without Bounty.”