I love me some Keeks, but he made a dumb play against Gronk. Not only should he have been penalized, it would have been better for him and the team in the long run to been penalized. Why do I say that? This is not the first time I seen Kuechly mug a good tight end in the endzone. What I saw last night was almost a mirror image of what he did to Gonzalez when we played the Falcons. Someone said that Kuechly made a similar play against the Bills, but I can't confirm that and yet I also wouldn't doubt it. It's clear now that this style of play is instinctual, and that is not good for us in the long run.
Kuechly should have been penalized, and that would have taught him to stop that kind of play. For one, it wasn't even necessary. We all know Brady has to throw the ball in the endzone, and we all calculated that Gronk was Brady's go-to-guy. You drop seven guys in coverage, meaning you aren't the only one to defend the pass. Why are you wrapping up and bear hugging the guy, not even a hint of attempt at actually playing the ball? That drives me crazy because Kuechly was actually in better position to intercept the pass himself had he played the ball. Why am I so mad that the refs picked the flag up? For one, it does in a way cheapen the game overall. I know the Patriots had a lot of dirty plays and they might have deserved for the refs to look the other way on that last play, but I want my team to play honorably regardless. I want to win without any excuse from the other side. That we were the best team last night through and through. Them picking up the flag kind of cheapened that for me. Secondly, Kuechly will now move on without changing his thought on how to cover a good tight end in the endzone. Eventually that play will catch up. I much rather would have been penalized last night and dealt with the consequences (one of them being Kuechly learn from this and begin playing the ball), than Kuechly doing something like this in the playoffs and it ends up costing us the game then.
How many of you believe Rivera got on Kuechly for that play last night? How many of you believe Kuechly is mentally checking himself right now and correct himself? Maybe those two things happened, I don't know. Yet I'm not as confident those two things happened now, because Kuechly wasn't penalized. Had he been penalized, those two things would have gotten done and trust me, they need to get done.