Patriots

These stats prove just how much the Patriots are missing Rob Gronkowski

These stats prove just how much the Patriots are missing Rob Gronkowski

The New England Patriots' passing attack hasn't been as strong this season as it has been in seasons past. And safe to say, part of that is due to the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.

The long-time Patriots tight end called it quits during the 2019 offseason after a nine-year NFL career. While some have been hopeful that Gronk would return, it seems that he is happy to remain retired at this point in time. And that's bad news for the Patriots.

So far during the 2019 campaign, the Patriots have gotten next to no production from their tight ends. Just how bad has it been? The "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account took a deep dive into the Patriots' tight end numbers since Gronkowski was drafted in 2010, and the Patriots' numbers so far in '19 are their worst over the course of the past 10 years.

The Patriots have gotten just 18 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown out of the tight end position through nine games. All of those numbers are worst (or tied for worst) among the team's totals through nine games since 2010.

Comparatively, other seasons over the last decade have routinely seen the squad record double-digit touchdowns, and there were two occasions (2011 and 2016) that saw the position total over 1,000 yards.

As for the second-worst nine-game start at the tight end position, that came in 2013. At that time, the team had just 29 catches for 397 yards and two touchdowns. However, Gronkowski had only played in three games at that point. And excluding his numbers, the skeleton crew of Matthew Mulligan, Zach Sudfeld, and Michael Hoomanawanui combined for just 10 catches, 113 yards, and a score.

So, it's safe to say that the tight end position has lived and died with Gronk over the course of the past decade. Thus, it's no surprise to see the team struggling to produce without him.

If the Patriots want to get some production out of the tight end position, they're going to need to see one of Ben Watson, Matt LaCosse, or Ryan Izzo step up. So far, none has generated much of a rapport with Tom Brady. But with the team lacking pass-catching options in general, perhaps this group will find a way to rebound after a poor start to the season.

If not, the position group will continue to be one of the team's biggest on the offensive side of the ball.

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Tom Brady shares update on injured elbow after 'a lot of extra treatment'

Tom Brady shares update on injured elbow after 'a lot of extra treatment'

Tom Brady hasn't missed a game due to injury since 2008, and he's not about to now.

But the New England Patriots quarterback still isn't fully healthy.

Brady took a hit on his right elbow during last Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and admitted Thursday night he's spent additional time with personal trainer Alex Guerrero this week to deal with the injury.

"It’s responded well," Brady told Jim Gray during his weekly interview on Westwood One. "I’ve gotten a lot of extra treatment with Alex, my body coach. It’s been good to be out there the last couple days participating and doing everything I can do. Any time you come off a tough loss you want to get back out on the practice field to try and improve with your teammates."

Brady appeared on last week's injury report with the elbow ailment and appeared to exacerbate it against the Chiefs. He was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, and while he participated fully Thursday, the elbow still appeared to affect him.

The 42-year-old said he'll be ready to go against the Cincinnati Bengals, though.

"I'm feeling good," Brady added. "It’s Week 15. Everyone is dealing with a couple bumps and bruises at this point, some worse than that. I'm very fortunate to be out there getting ready to go for a competitive game in Cincinnati on Sunday."

 

Brady threw for just 169 yards with one touchdown and one interception against Kansas City, as the Patriots' offense has scored 22 points or fewer in five consecutive games, its longest streak in the Bill Belichick era.

If anything, Patriots fans should hope for a non-competitive game in Cincinnati so Brady can limit his workload and get healthier for the playoffs.

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Tom Brady jokingly challenges Lamar Jackson to a unique race on Twitter

Tom Brady jokingly challenges Lamar Jackson to a unique race on Twitter

During Thursday night's game against the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson made history. He broke Michael Vick's record for the most quarterback rushing yards in a season on an early-game run against the Jets defense.

In the wake of this historic moment, another historically-good quarterback took time to comment on Jackson's speed and running ability. But not in the way that many would think.

That's right, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady challenged Jackson to a race on Twitter.

Okay, so maybe it's not really a race. Or a challenge of any sort. Brady is just making fun of his own lacking speed while praising Jackson for his effort this season.

Still, the image of Jackson trying to race Brady on natural grass while on rollerblades is hilarious. But frankly, it's no guarantee that Brady would win that one given Jackson's unbelievable athletic ability.

That said, Jackson didn't seem to like his chances in the race, as captured postgame by ESPN.

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