Monday, January 14, 2013
Patriots will miss Gronkowski in red zone
By James Walker
The New England Patriots' top-ranked offense will be fine without Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who reinjured his arm Sunday against the Houston Texans and is out for the playoffs. New England got plenty of practice and was 4-1 when Gronkowski broke his arm the first time in the regular season. The Patriots also scored 41 points against Houston in the playoffs without Gronkowski for three quarters.
However, inside the red zone is where Gronkowski definitely will be missed.
Gronkowski is almost unstoppable in the red zone. His size, long wingspan and strong hands made him an ideal target for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to spot in the end zone. Gronkowski caught 38 touchdowns in three seasons, and a majority of his scores were inside the 20-yard line. He caught 11 touchdowns in 11 regular-season games in 2012 despite being in and out of the lineup.