Patriots' Gronkowski breaks mark for TDs by tight end

LANDOVER, Md. -- Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots set the record for most touchdown catches in a season by a tight end, raising his total to 15 with two Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

Gronkowski's record-breaking score came on an 11-yard pass from Tom Brady with 5:49 left in the first quarter.

The previous record of 13 touchdown catches by a tight end originally was set by Antonio Gates in 2004, then matched by Vernon Davis in 2009.

Gronkowski's 14th touchdown capped a two-play, 60-yard drive that gave New England a 14-3 lead Sunday. The other play of the series was a 49-yard catch-and-run by Gronkowski on which he dragged two Redskins with him, then avoided another defender along the sideline.

Then, on the opening drive of the second half, Gronkowski caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Brady, dragging linebacker Ryan Kerrigan along for a few steps before breaking free. That score, with 12:05 remaining in the third quarter, put New England ahead 27-20.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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