Today, Rob Gronkowski will play his first game against competition in over nine months. Will Gronk be the difference-maker in his first game back? Anything’s possible, but more than that, the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian writes that even a marginal Gronk might be a boost to a Patriots offense in search of help.
They can no longer afford to be 30th in the NFL in red-zone offense (just nine TDs in 22 red zone attempts). They can’t be 18th in third-down offense (34-of-93). They must be better.
That’s where Gronkowski steps in. He has to be a difference-maker. He might not cure all the problems, or be an instant solution the minute he steps into the huddle, but he would change the red-zone dynamic instantly.
Even if he’s slowly worked up to full speed, with a limited amount of snaps today, he will boost the offense when it’s most needed.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comGuregian makes an excellent point in that even if Gronk isn’t in perfect form, his presence will most certainly help the Patriots offense in the red zone and could stand to hurt the Jets defense. More than anything, Tom Brady has proven that when he has more options to throw to, he’s a better all-around quarterback. No matter how ready Gronk might be for this game, he’s going to be a difference maker to the team’s overall gameplan and the Jets are going to have to account for him as well as how much more effective that might make Brady.