- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A review of four hot issues following the New England Patriots' 30-27 win over the Saints:
Tom Brady magic: The region is still buzzing after Brady led the Patriots on an improbable 70-yard touchdown drive with 1:13 remaining and no timeouts. When the Boston Red Sox followed up with a dramatic come-from-behind victory at Fenway Park in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, it made Sunday one of the most memorable nights in recent Boston sports history. For the record, it marks the 38th time that Brady has led the Patriots to a victory following a fourth-quarter deficit or tie.
Rob Gronkowski's potential return: The tight end missed his sixth straight game as stories on his recovery and how the team views his status have swirled and been all over the map. Even Gronkowski's mother has chimed in. One thing that owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft made clear in interviews Sunday is that they are deferring to Gronkowski. Both said that the organization supports what is in the best long-term interests of Gronkowski.
Injuries to starters piling up: Cornerback Aqib Talib (hip), receiver Danny Amendola (head), right guard Dan Connolly (head) and linebacker Jerod Mayo (right shoulder) didn't finish Sunday's game, as the victory came at a significant physical cost. Their status will be closely watched in the days to come.
Fans leave early: It's not an "issue" directly related to the team, but when the Patriots capped off their comeback victory with seconds left, there was a noticeable number of empty seats inside Gillette Stadium. What's up with that?