Albert Breer and Peter King of The MMQB discuss whether the Patriots offense might actually be better without Rob Gronkowski.

By SI Wire
February 03, 2017

Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends of all time and was a huge part of the Patriots' offense, so many wondered what effect his absence would have on New England.

The offense hasn't missed a beat since Gronkowksi underwent back surgery in early December, and Albert Breer of The MMQB says the offense might even be better without Gronk.

"(Brady's) not always worried about where Gronk is," Breer says. "With Matthew Stafford, it's the same thing with Calvin Johnson coming out of the equation. I just think naturally, taking the idea that every three plays or four plays, he had to find a way to get Gronk the ball. Taking that out of the equation, he certainly has freedom to play to his strengths...I do think there was a hidden benefit to taking Gronk out of the equation based on the talent that they have elsewhere on offense."

The MMQB's Peter King says the effect Gronk's absence has on the Patriots' offense is different than the one Johnson's had on the Lions'.

"With Calvin Johnson, I think Matthew Stafford always felt 'I have one huge difference maker,'" King says. "I don't think Tom Brady has ever felt that way about Gronkowski because every year they invent new difference makers. Every year they sign Chris Hogan, the fourth receiver on the Buffalo Bills, and all the sudden he has a 180-yard game against the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game."


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