There’s bad news for the AFC East and the rest of the NFL: Rob Gronkowski is back.
There’s no doubting the New England Patriots tight end is just about back to 100 percent after a dominant performance in New England’s Week 8 blowout of the Chicago Bears. The enormous target hauled in nine catches for 149 yards and three touchdowns in his finest performance since his 2013 season was ended with a knee injury.
Having this version of Gronkowski changes everything. Former NFL linebacker Matt Chatham wrote Tuesday on FootballByFootball.com that the AFC picture changes completely when Gronkowski is playing like he did Sunday. Teams have to change their game plans entirely to try and slow Gronkowski, which opens up so many possibilities for Tom Brady and the New England offense.
“You have to adjust your scheme, whether that be double-teaming Gronk down the field, bringing the double-team down to the line of scrimmage to dissuade Tom Brady pre-snap from going to him, or banging him with defensive ends at the line so that he isn’t where he should be later in the pass progression,” Chatham wrote. “None of these is a perfect solution, because this means removing one player from what would be his coverage responsibility…in other words, thinning other areas of the secondary.”
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