Tom Brady was far from chipper after the Patriots’ ninth win of the season.

While New England managed to secure a tough road victory over a relatively desperate Philadelphia Eagles team, Brady and Co. once again struggled to move the ball. The Patriots accounted for only 298 yards of total offense and again were bailed out by stellar showings from their other two units.

As such, Brady understandably was frustrated while addressing the media after the game. But Jason Whitlock believes the Patriots QB’s brevity and visible agitation served a bigger purpose.

” … I do think he’s trying to address his lack of weapons. I think that was a performance. I think it was a performance put on for (Rob) Gronkowski,” Whitlock said Monday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “I think it was Tom Brady’s way of begging Rob Gronkowski: ‘Come back and save me, bro. We can’t get it done without you.’ ”

Whitlock continued: “I don’t know if he needs any weight to do what Brady needs done. Again, he doesn’t have to block. They just need him out there. At 6-foot-7, he’s unguardable. Hell, being lighter might actually help him, make him move better. I think he (Brady) was clearly performing for Rob Gronkowski. ‘Bro, we need you. They took Antonio Brown away from me. We brought in (Mohamed) Sanu and it’s been OK. It’s been good enough but bro, I need you.’ That’s what I think all of this was. I think it was a performance for Gronkowski.”

There’s no doubt the Patriots could use Gronkowski. Outside of its general playmaking need, New England has received next to nothing from its tight ends all season. Despite being out of the game since early February, one has to imagine Gronk instantly would be a considerable upgrade from Benjamin Watson, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo.

Unfortunately for Pats fans hoping to see a Gronk comeback, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards. While the five-time Pro Bowl selection’s “big announcement” tease sent the Foxboro Faithful into a frenzy, it looks like the news merely is regarding Gronk’s Super Bowl LIV party plans.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images