Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a pass out of bounds while defended by Houston Texans inside linebacker Barrett Ruud (54) during the first half of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Do The Patriots Pose A Serious Threat Without Gronk?


Rob Gronkowski is currently dealing with the worst routine break in an arm in history. He has already had 3 surgeries, a fourth surgery is imminent and it is feared that he might need a 5th before it is all said and done. Now, his broken arm has led to him needing back surgery.

 

Ok, so the back surgery has nothing to do with the broken arm, but still. Gronkoswki is having an unprecedentedly bad offseason in terms of his health. His broken arm has repeatedly succumbed to infection and required surgery after surgery and now, he needs a back surgery. The back surgery has a projected 10 week recover time and can’t occur until 3-4 weeks after his arm surgery next week. That means that with zero setbacks, an achievement that Gronk has never attained after surgery, He would only be cleared to play 3 weeks before the season started. Yikes.

 

The Ravens, despite some offseason doubters, remain one of the best teams in the AFC and might even be better next year than they were this year. The Patriots figure to be among their principle competition. The question that begs answering is, are the Patriots a serious potential #1 seed without Gronk for an extended part of the season? Im not so sure they are.

 

The Patriots entire offense is built around Rob Gronkowski, without him they drop almost 5 ppg in scoring. For a team without a legitimate defense, that is a huge deal. The Patriots rely on him as much as any team relies on any non-QB player in the league. They can get by with just Aaron Hernandez for a few games, but if Gronk were to have a setback and miss say, half the season. the Patriots would be in serious trouble, and the Ravens would have one less team to worry about.

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  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    “For a team without a legitimate defense, that is a huge deal”. If I remember right, the Ravens took control of the AFC championship game after Talib left the game with an injury. The offense will still score a lot of points without Gronk….I think they did alright without him when he hurt his arm in the second half of the season. The Pats may not score as many points if Gronk is not in the line up (maybe, we have not seen the new WR corp yet). Ballard will be a big plus also. The defense will take a big step forward this season . Talib and Dennard will be playing together for a full season this year. The safety position looks stronger and I expect the D-line to play more aggressively not only from the edges but from the inside. Gronk is Gronk and unstoppable but I see a more diverse offense this year not relying on one or two players (Gronk & Welker) to make the big plays. There are many fans who believe the offense will be hurt from the departure of Welker but wait until you see what Amendola can do on the inside as well as outside the numbers…..and don’t give me that he is fragile (Gronk), just untimely injuries. The Pats are a great team and there will always be someone to pick up the slack when a player goes down.

    • Tynan Patrick

      Im not sure how you can argue that Amendola isnt fragile. untimely or not, He hasnt played a full season since high school. Im a big believer in Amendola, when he is on the field I think he is better today than Welker is, that said, I wouldnt trust him to be on the field. I will believe in the Patriots secondary when i see it. I feel like they have been a potential breakout group for several years in a row and all the guys predicted to become stars always end up being washouts or getting hurt.

      Talib is a legit player, but he is the only guy in that secondary I think you really need to seriously gameplan for and really a corner can only do so much. besides, I don’t think Talib has the speed to keep up with Torrey Smith who now becomes the Ravens top WR. without Gronk, I dont worry about any matchup on defense aside from Hernandez and Amendola, but Amendola needs to stay healthy.

      The Patriots are a great team, but when you are comparing two great teams and one of them is without arguably their best player, it can cause a dramatic shift in power between them. The Patriots will have a fine season with or without Gronk, but my question is specifically concerning how they fare against one team that they already historically have problems with.

  • unclealfie

    “For a team without a legitimate defense”? Are you high or just ignorant? Apparently, you’re not aware that they just rebuilt their only defensiveweakness; in the secondary.

    • Tynan Patrick

      We have heard that before and every year the secondary is pretty weak. Im not saying they have a terrible defense, but they are pretty average in every statistical category and they are better statistically then they look watching them. My point was that no team really worries about their defense much.

  • joeblow

    Feel sorry for Gronk, he’s had terrible luck. But with or without him the Peetwats will win their weak division even with the moves the phins made this offseason. But I don’t see them going past first round of playoffs – they appear to be a much weaker team than in past years.