While many of us focused on the final score, Tyrod Taylor's injury, the possibility Nathan Peterman will start again, Rick Dennison's play calls, the run defense's struggles and Tom Brady's historic dominance of the Buffalo Bills, the rest of the country was agog over Rob Gronkowski's filthy hit.
The former Williamsville North star smoked a prone and helpless Tre'Davious White after a fourth-quarter interception in a game the New England Patriots would easily win, 23-3, Sunday at New Era Field.
Gronkowski, angry that an official didn't flag White for interference, reacted with a cheap shot that put the Bills rookie cornerback in the concussion protocol. Gronkowski was not ejected.
White's status is uncertain for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, a game the Bills need to win to stay in the playoff race.
The internet fury from Gronkowski's blow to White's brain shows public sentiment the NFL should punish Gronkowski with a suspension, and as you'll see below, any suspension could be expensive.
Microphones heard Patriots coach Bill Belichick admit to Bills coach Sean McDermott what Gronkowski did was "bulls---."
Gronkowski eventually apologized for the senseless hit, but reconciled his decision by complaining about referee Gene Steratore's crew.
The NFL is reviewing the hit for "likely discipline," according to a tweet Monday morning by NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
As they always do, @NFL officials are reviewing the late hit by #Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski on #Bills CB Tre'Davious White for likely discipline. What's not known is whether that could result in a suspension.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 4, 2017
Here's a sampling of the Twitter reaction:
Rodney Harrison sums it up perfectly on the Gronkowski cheap shot: It you do that on the streets, you're going to jail.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 4, 2017
Everyone's favorite meathead, Gronk, just committed the dirtiest play of the NFL season. He should be suspended next week. That was awful.
— nick wright (@getnickwright) December 3, 2017
If Rob Gronkowski gets a 1 game suspension instead of a fine, there's no way he'll hit the statistical or playtime thresholds to max out the $5.5M of incentives that were added to his 2017 contract year. He would need to be named 1st team All-Pro by AP to get all $5.5M.
— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) December 4, 2017
Bill Belichick Apologized, Called Gronkowski's Late Hit "Bull----" https://t.co/1BAzx5ejek
— The Big Lead (@thebiglead) December 4, 2017
In the locker room after the game, Gronkowski said he wants to apologize to Tre White. Adding, "I don't really believe in type of shots like that."
— Dan Fetes (@danfetes) December 3, 2017
"In my opinion, that was a play where Gronkowski should have been ejected from the game... Maybe even a suspension going forward."@DeanBlandino breaks down Gronk's hit from today's game. pic.twitter.com/WgZ8U4tS8s
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 3, 2017
#Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski explains why he was frustrated and gave the cheap shot."I just don't understand why there wasn't a flag. And there was a couple of times in the game. And they are calling it on me for the craziest stuff ever. It's like crazy. What am I supposed to do?" pic.twitter.com/IL4n9Fi96M
— Raul Martinez (@RaulNBCBoston) December 3, 2017
That was a straight up dirty hit by #Patriots Gronkowski. Regardless of frustration over interference, he can’t be allowed to get away with that. Terrible.
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) December 3, 2017
If #NFL suspends Talib and Crabtree for their fight, then Gronk cheap shot to defenseless opponent should be punished by suspension. Hit resulted in concussion for Tre’Davious White.
— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) December 3, 2017
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) December 3, 2017
— Heather Prusak (@haprusak) December 3, 2017
— Ed Drantch (@EdDrantch) December 3, 2017
I don't really have a taek here; it just seems to me that Mr. Gronkowski should not be allowed to play football for a while after that move.
— Doug Farrar (@BR_DougFarrar) December 3, 2017
Guregian: Rob Gronkowski’s late cheap shot could prove costly https://t.co/jRlQRy5BNg
— Boston Herald Sports (@BosHeraldSports) December 4, 2017
The Bills lost to the Patriots, but all we want to hear is how many games Rob Gronkowski will be suspended. https://t.co/7qQt79SP4l
— Buffalo Rumblings (@BuffRumblings) December 3, 2017