The Patriots got a spectacular 29-25 come-from-behind win against the division rival Buffalo Bills to improve to 2-5 on the season, and the last touchdown to put the Patriots ahead would be in the hands of tight end Mike Gesicki. New England did something fans have not seen since Mac Jones’ 2021 rookie season, and that was engineer a late scoring drive to make a comeback.
Although Gesicki had a quiet game, having just one catch all day, he rose to the occasion when his team needed him the most, like so many of his teammates did that day, catching his second ball to win the game with twelve seconds left on the clock.
Back in March, Gesicki signed a one-year deal with the Patriots worth up to $9 million, coming over from Miami, where he spent five seasons. Gesicki was swapped in as tight end two to compliment Hunter Henry after the failed Jonnu Smith experiment.
Through the first seven weeks of the season, Gesicki has been relatively quiet, with just 17 receptions for 149 yards and the lone touchdown. With that being said, the offense has just seemed to start clicking again, after putting up 17 against the Raiders last week due to an apparent reset, after only scoring three points the previous two weeks (vs. Dallas & vs. New Orleans).
As touched on previously, Gesicki originally played for the Dolphins, who the Patriots are facing next week. Gesicki played for the Dolphins from 2018-2022. In his 2018 rookie season, Gesicki did not do much, he played in all 16 games, but only put up 202 yards. The following year, the tight end made a jump, hauling in 51 balls for 570 yards and 5 touchdowns. Gesicki would build off his sophomore season and follow it up with a 703-yard, 6 touchdown performance in 2020.
One of Gesicki’s best years was in 2021, where he caught 73 passes for 780 yards and two touchdowns, becoming one of the top fantasy tight ends that year. With the emergence of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle the following year in 2022, Gesicki had trouble finding a role in the speedy Miami offense, only putting up 362 yards, but he still proved to be somewhat of a redzone threat, scoring five touchdowns.
Before getting drafted by Miami early in the second round, Gesicki was a star tight end at Penn. State. Gesicki had an uneventful first two years in college, amassing a combined 24 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t until his junior year that Gesicki hit his stride. In Gesicki’s 2016 season, he was ranked among some of the top tight ends in the country, starting in all 14 games and putting up 48 receptions for 679 yards and five touchdowns. Gesicki’s play in his junior season earned him honorable mention All-Big Ten notice.
In Gesicki’s 2017 senior season, he set the school’s single season record for touchdown receptions by a tight end with nine, as well as putting up 563 yards receiving. Gesicki’s last two collegiate seasons helped him become the 42nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Before coming to Penn. State, Gesicki was a three-sport athlete at Southern Regional High School in Ocean City, New Jersey, excelling in football, basketball, and volleyball. Coming out of high school, Gesicki was an All-American as well as a top 15 prospect at tight end, finishing his senior season with 33 receptions for 530 yards and four touchdowns.
Once his time at Southern Regional was done, Gesicki was the school’s all-time leading receiver with 1,817 yards off 103 catches with 16 touchdowns. Gesicki was also the school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, with 1,867 points, and would show his pure athleticism by winning the state slam dunk contest. If that wasn’t enough, Gesicki was also a four-time letter-winner in volleyball.
When watching Gesicki on the field, it is clear that his strengths are in the passing game, being more of a receiving tight end/ bulked up wide receiver. As seen on the safety last week against Las Vegas, blocking is not Gesicki’s forte, but he makes up for that weakness with his athleticism, soft hands and precise route running.
As mentioned before, the veteran was brought in to compliment fellow veteran tight end Hunter Henry, who made a crucial grab himself, on a third and eight to set the Patriots up in the redzone for Gesicki’s touchdown. Although the Henry/Gesicki combo is a far cry from the Gronk/Hernandez combo that some fans expected with the return of Bill O’Brien, it seems like there is starting to be a concerted effort to get them going. Pharaoh Brown, the third tight end, also got involved, so there could be a lot more 12-personell packages coming in the future, featuring Gesicki, along with Henry and Brown.
Gesicki will travel with the Patriots back to his former NFL home in Miami, to take on the Dolphins in another divisional matchup, with the Dolphins getting the best of them at Gillette in the first meeting in week two. It’s going to be a challenge for the Patriots to keep up with the fast and explosive offense of Miami, but this past win should give the team confidence moving forward. Hopefully for Gesicki, he can keep his production on an up-swing and maybe can get another touchdown and hit the cringy gritty in front of his former fans!
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