The New England Patriots recently traded Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick. While that was a shock to many, Gronkowski stated in the past that he would not play for another quarterback other than Tom Brady, according to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter
Gronkowski was granted the trade to the Patriots thus connecting him to Tom Brady once again. So where do Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski rank now in the QB-TE tandem in the NFL?
Ranking the top three QB-TE tandem in the NFL will be based on the success they had in the last few seasons. The ranking also has to include the number of times the TE was targeted and how deep they have gotten in the postseason. The average yards and TD’s were also a factor, but ultimately it came down to team success.
Before counting down the top three QB-TE tandem in the NFL, we take a look at an honorable mention that just missed the list.
Carson Wentz to Zach Ertz
The Philadelphia Eagles seem set in regards to having a strong QB-TE connection. Carson Wentz had a stellar year in 2017 before getting injured. The Eagles were able to win a Super Bowl without him but not before posting major numbers. Wentz threw for 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions in the 2017-2018 season. During that same season, Ertz caught 8 touchdowns and had 824 receiving yards in 74 receptions.
In the 2018-2019 season Wentz threw for 3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He only played in 11 games for the Eagles as they lost in the Divisional round to the Saints. Ertz that year caught 116 passes for 1163 yards and 8 touchdowns.
In the 2019-2020 season, Wentz threw for 4,039 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. The Eagles lost in the wildcard round to the Seahawks which ultimately ended their season. This past season, Ertz caught 88 passes for 916 yards and 6 touchdowns.
There is no doubt that this tandem will be around for years to come barring injuries. They are still young and capable of putting up big numbers as long as they are teammates.
The #3 QB-TE tandem
Jimmy Garoppolo to George Kittle
The number three QB-TE tandem Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers haven’t played long enough in recent years. However, with last seasons Super Bowl appearance, there is no denying they are a threat. Garoppolo came on a trade from the Patriots midway through the 2017 season. He finished the season with 1,560 yards, 7 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. The following season ended due to knee injury just three weeks in. However, in the 2019 season, Garoppolo showed plenty of promise and future success. Garoppolo threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
George Kittle had a little more success than his QB in the three seasons they have been together. After a slow start in his rookie season in 2017-2018, Kittle made a great impact in the 2018-2019 season. He caught 88 passes for a record 1,377 yards for a tight end and had 5 touchdowns. In the 2019-2020 season, Kittle had 85 receptions for 1,053 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The 49ers have a solid QB-TE tandem that cannot be ignored. They will definitely look to redeem themselves after last season’s Super Bowl loss.
Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski
The number two QB-TE tandem on the list is Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although Gronkowski did not play at all last season, he still remains a top tight end threat in the league. With his return and having Tom Brady as his quarterback, it would allow the Bucs to have something to cheer for. This tandem is not new to the league and has won three Super Bowls together in the last decade. Tom Brady has thrown 78 touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski, making it the most in the NFL from 2010-2018.
So why are they in second? The fact is Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are playing for a new organization. Besides that, Brady is turning 43 in August and Gronkowski is turning 31 in May. Gronkowski has also had major injuries in the past that has hindered him recently. Simply put, time is not in their favor. If they don’t win a Super Bowl this season, their chances are slim afterwards.
Nonetheless, this tandem is to be feared and respected when the season starts. Their past speaks a lot of what fans can expect but time will tell how well they fair during the season.
Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce
The number one QB-TE tandem in the NFL currently is Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. This should not come as a surprise since they won the Super Bowl this past season against the 49ers. Patrick Mahomes was a star in the 2018-2019 season and was bound to make a major impact. Travis Kelce has been a consistent threat at the tight end position since starting his career with the Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes entered the league in the 2017 season as a rookie for the Chiefs. Alex Smith was in at quarterback at the time and the team was in the postseason. The following season, the Chiefs traded Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins which allowed for Mahomes to step in. Mahomes did not disappoint as he threw for 5,097 yards, 50 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. The Chiefs lost in the AFC championship round in overtime to the eventual champs, the New England Patriots. The 2019 season Mahomes threw for 4,031 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Mahomes had a stellar postseason filled with comebacks including the Super Bowl which led to a victory over the 49ers.
Travis Kelce was definitely instrumental in the Chiefs’ winning ways in the last two seasons. Kelce caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns in the 2018-2019 season. Kelce had the record for most yards for a tight end before it was broken by Kittle the same season. In the 2019-2020 season, Kelce caught 97 passes for 1,229 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The Chiefs have a solid organization and the top QB-TE tandem, and they are poised to repeat again this upcoming season.