Running at 16 miles per hour into the end zone, Rob Gronkowski begins to decelerate nearly a full second before the ball arrives. Defender Luke Kuechly makes contact with Gronk a third of a second later, meaning contact happened 2/3 of a second before the ball was intercepted.
Sport Science projects that untouched, Gronk would have been able to decelerate from 16 mph to 0 mph in roughly a half-second. That would have given the Patriots tight end time to use his 8-foot-3 reach to make a play on the ball. Of course, he still would have had safety Robert Lester, who ultimately intercepted the ball, to contend with.
It’s highly improbable he would have been able to position himself to have a better shot at the ball than Lester, but the fact it might have even been possible makes the ruling that the pass was uncatchable -- which was the stated reason the pass interference flag was picked up -- a questionable one.Or you could just watch the video. And if you're like me, you'll want to punch a hole through your computer. I'll go to my grave believing that any other team gets that pass interference call.
Tom Brady said even his mom thought it was interference. Tom Brady's mom is obviously a very smart woman.