After two horrendous offensive performances the New England Patriots are remarkably still undefeated, and can’t wait for the return of their start tight end, Rob Gronkowski, although it’s not quite certain if he’ll be ready to play in week 3.
Right now sources from within the organization suggest that Gronkowski is a 50-50 for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but that probably means it’s slightly better than that. However, Bill Belichick loves playing his cards extremely close to his chest.
The Patriots passing game is looking bad, and it’s not just Gronkowski who is out injured. Danny Amendola missed the second game, and so did Shane Vereen, leaving Tom Brady more frustrated than ever about his passing situation, although he admitted that he needs to do a better job of holding back that anger. In any case, he’d love to have Gronkowski back.
He’s a great player and he helps in the run game and the pass game, provides a level of toughness for our team, and he’s been a really consistent player when he’s been out there, so it’s really — it’s hard to replace him; there’s only one Gronk. I know he’s working his butt off to get back, and every time I see him he’s got a great attitude about his rehabilitation and what he’s going through to get back on the field.
The Patriots are ranked last in the NFL so far this season in tight end production, with Brady completing only one pass to a tight end so far this season out of a total 3 targets. In 2012 tight ends on the Patriots had 18 receptions after two games, and 24 receptions through the first two games in 2011. Aaron Hernandez being out of the picture is undoubtedly hurting the team as well, but there’s no chance of him every playing for the Patriots again.
New England’s passing offense, usually among the top in the NFL, is ranked only 21st so far this season with 262.5 yards per game, throwing only three passing touchdowns. Brady’s completion percentage of 52.7% this season is second worst in the league, with only the Jets and the Bucs doing worse.