Patriots rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski caught his eighth and ninth touchdown passes today at Ralph Wilson Stadium, tying him for the Patriots' rookie record. Wide receiver Jim Colclough caught nine touchdown passes in the team's inaugural season of 1960, and wide receiver Randy Vataha caught nine in 1971.
The nine touchdown catches tied Ben Coates' 1996 franchise record for touchdown catches by a tight end.
Gronkowski is tied for second all-time in touchdown catches by a rookie tight end. The Atlanta Falcons' Junior Miller had nine touchdown receptions in 1980; Mike Ditka set the record with 12 touchdown passes for the Chicago Bears in 1961.
Gronkowski is tied for third overall on the Patriots' franchise list for touchdowns by a rookie. Running back Curtis Martin holds the franchise record with his 15 touchdowns, scored in 1995, while running back Robert Edwards scored 12 touchdowns in 1998.