Notice a different Rob Gronkowski vs. Chargers? Allow him to explain


FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski looked like a different player last Sunday against the Chargers.

No, not catching passes, but rather as a blocker. It looked like the All-Pro tight end took things to another level and helped pave the way for 155 yards on the ground.

Speaking Thursday, Gronkowski pretty much acknowledged he takes things into a different gear come playoff time.

"It’s the playoffs. It’s one-and-done," he said. "During the regular season and all, you know you’ve got another game in that, but this is one-and-done. Every single play counts. Any play at any given time can boost your team into the next round. You see that happen throughout the playoffs too. You see it happen many different times throughout the playoffs, throughout the years, that it doesn’t happen during the regular season. One little play there, one block there, so you’ve got to be on top of your toes and bring it at all times.The tight end finished with only one catch for 25 yards, but his impact was certainly felt.

This is Gronkowski and the Patriots' eighth straight AFC title game and now that he's older he appreciates it more than maybe he did as a younger player.

"When you’re a young buck, really young, you feel like you’re going to be here for a little," Gronkowski said. "I would say now, seeing everything, seeing how fast it goes, you know how much work it takes to put in to get to this level. As you get older, you’ve got to put more work into it to get this far, to get to this stage, to get to the championship game. You feel like when you get to these games like, you feel all that work you put in. You feel accomplished when it happens. You feel accomplished when you’ve won them because you know you put all of that work in and that’s what we’ve been doing all year.

"You know you can’t take it for granted. I’ve been through it now, have lost some games now and then you understand like, 'Wow, I really wish I won that game.' You just can’t take anything for granted at all."

The Patriots will face the Chiefs Sunday night in Kansas City for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.