Heading into Sunday's game vs. New England, the Redskins' defense knew they would have their hands full stopping the Patriots' offense.
It seemed that no matter who the defense chose to focus on, someone else would step up.
On Sunday at FedExField, Gronkowski stepped up time and again.
The 6-6, 265-pound tight end caught six passes from quarterback Tom Brady for a game-high 160 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Patriots to a 34-27 victory at FedExField.
Several Redskins defenders were impressed with Gronkowski -- and glad, certainly, that he doesn't play in the NFC East.
Cornerback Josh Wilson found himself covering Gronkowski at times, and was amazed by his size.
"Look at him, the guy's huge," Wilson said. "We missed a bunch of tackles, that's the biggest thing. He's a big guy, he's hard to bring down and he has great balance. He had some really big back-breaking plays in this game."
On the Patriots' second drive of the game, Brady hit Gronkowski for a short pass, which he turned into a 49-yard gain after he broke multiple tackles en route to the Redskins' 11-yard line.
On the next play, Brady found Gronkowski in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Brady threw the pass above 6-0, 200-pound safety DeJon Gomes so that Gronkowski was the only player who could catch the ball.
On the play, Gronkowski set the NFL record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season.
He wasn't done there.
On the Patriots opening drive of the third quarter, Brady and company faced a third-and-12 on the Redskins' 37-yard line. Brady threw downfield to Gronkowski, who was blanketed by Ryan Kerrigan.
Gronkowski was able to make the catch, break free from Kerrigan and race all the way to end zone for a touchdown.
Kerrigan, who was flagged for defensive holding on the play, couldn't help but be impressed.
"I even held him and he still broke away, so he's one heck of a player," Kerrigan said. "He's big, strong, can run after the catch, he's fast, he can do it all. He's what you want in a tight end."
The Redskins tried a handful of different looks on Gronkowski, but struggled to contain his size and strength. Linebacker Perry Riley, Gomes and Kerrigan appeared to alternate on coverage.
"I think [Rob] Gronkowski and [Tom] Brady just click so well. They know what each other are going to do in certain situations."
Brady finished the day completing 22-of-37 passes for 357 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
While the Patriots had success through the air, their running attack was largely limited by the Redskins' defense. As a team they had 20 carries for 79 yards. Their leading rusher, Danny Woodhead, carried the ball just eight times for 41 yards.