Patriots vs. Ravens: How Baltimore Will Attempt to Cover TE Rob Gronkowski

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Patriots vs. Ravens: How Baltimore Will Attempt to Cover TE Rob Gronkowski
Al Bello/Getty Images

Stopping New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is practically impossible.

With the Baltimore Ravens coming to Gillette Stadium this Sunday in a battle for the AFC Championship, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is going to have his hands full trying to find a decent matchup against the hulking tight end. This isn't something new, however, as Gronk's emergence has probably left multiple head coaches up at night this season.

Gronk is Tom Brady's favorite target, or at least he is the "1b" to Wes Welker's "1a," and he is a dominant force in the red zone.

Last year as a rookie, Gronk hauled in 10 touchdown passes on just 42 receptions. This season, the monstrous tight end went berserk. He smashed the all-time tight end record for touchdowns by grabbing 17 (the previous record was 13), and he even added a rushing touchdown for good measure.

Gronk stands at 6'6" tall and weighs in at 265 pounds—getting in his way is not fun.

This past weekend against an undermanned Denver Broncos secondary, Gronk gathered three more touchdown receptions. With Brian Dawkins out, the Broncos secondary lacked the physical presence necessary to contain such an imposing tight end and were left scrambling all night.

While Big Rob was pretty wide open on his last two touchdowns, his first touchdown catch was spectacular.

This Sunday, Harbaugh will have a few options. Let's dissect each potential defender and figure out which gives Baltimore the best chance at slowing down touchdown-machine Rob Gronkowski.

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