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Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski retires; Steelers Nation cheers

The Pittsburgh Steelers arch nemesis not named Tom Brady has decided to step away from the NFL after just 9 seasons.

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

New England Patriots tight end announced his retirement on Sunday. One of the most feared tight ends in NFL history hung up his cleats after nine seasons. The five-time Pro Bowler finished his career with 521 receptions, 7,861 yards, and 79 touchdowns. Pittsburgh Steelers fans will not miss Gronk’s monstrous games he put up against their favorite team. The Patriots with Gronkowski compiled a 5-2 regular season record with the four-time All-Pro.

2010: NE 39 / Pit 26

5 receptions 72 yards 3 touchdowns

Gronk’s inaugural season saw him have one of his best games of the season against the Steelers. His second receiving touchdown put the Patriots ahead by two touchdowns in a game that the Steelers never had a lead.

2011: Pit 25 / NE 17

7 receptions 94 yards

Gronk led New England in receptions and receiving yards but the Steelers kept him under the century mark and out of the end zone. Limiting Gronk’s damage propelled the Steelers to four wins in a row.

2013: NE 55 / Pit 31

9 receptions 143 yards, 1 touchdown

The beat down by the Patriots was the most lopsided win by New England against the Steelers since 1986. The loss kept the Steelers mired while losing six of the teams first eight games. The win was also the first of five straight losses against the Patriots. Eight of his nine receptions went for first downs.

2015: NE 28 / Pit 21

5 receptions,94 yards, 3 touchdowns

The first game of the season had Steelers fans excited. Gronk silenced Pittsburgh fans with two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the game. His third touchdown of the day was the one that broke the fan’s hearts and put New England up by two touchdowns.

2016: NE 27 / Pit 16

4 receptions, 93 yards, 1 touchdowns

Another effective game for Gronk against Pittsburgh. His touchdown at the 6:13 mark in the third quarter ended a streak of 13 straight points by the Steelers and continued the Steelers losing streak against New England.

2017: NE 27 / Pit 24

9 receptions, 168 yards

While Gronk did not score a touchdown, he was otherwise unstoppable. Not only was his reception and yardage totals the most on New England but also lead all players in the contest. The drive for the go-ahead score late in the fourth is the one that gives Steelers fans nightmares. Snaring receptions of 26, 26, and 17 yards, and getting the two-point conversion put New England ahead for good.

2018: Pit 17 / NE 10

2 receptions 21 yards

Snapping a five-game losing streak against New England was helped by silencing Gronkowski on his five targets. His absence during the game was baffling especially when the Steelers were one of the worst teams against opponents tight ends.

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With 45 receptions, 685 yards, and eight touchdowns over seven games, Steelers fans have to be happy knowing the #87 will not be on the field terrorizing Pittsburgh’s secondary defenders in 2019. Taking away a fearsome weapon from Brady at Gillette Stadium is a win before the game even starts. The question will be, will Brady miss Gronk or will he find other weapons as he did in the AFC Championship game in 2017 when he hung 36 points on the Steelers without the probable future Hall of Famer?

* All stats provided by Pro Football Reference.