Life without Gronk

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
3:44
PM ET

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Patriots offense will be much less explosive without Rob Gronkowski

According to ESPN and Media reports, Rob Gronkowski suffered a season-ending ACL and MCL tear after being upended by safety T.J. Ward in the third quarter of yesterday’s game. This is a significant blow to the Patriots, who came back to beat the Browns and secure their 11th consecutive season with at least 10 wins.

What Gronk means to the Pats Offense

The Patriots go back to "life without Gronk" which was not a pretty sight the first time around this season. The Patriots offense ranked among the league's worst the first six weeks of the year when they last played without the tight end.

The Patriots are second in the league in points per game since Gronkowski made his season debut in Week 7, scoring over 11 more points per game than they did in the first six weeks of the season.

They ranked in the top five in most offensive categories with him in the lineup this season.

The Red Zone

The Patriots have also been much more effective in the red zone. The Patriots scored a touchdown on 68.8 percent of their red zone trips this season with Gronkowski on the field. When he was inactive in the first six weeks of the season, New England scored a touchdown on 40.9 percent of red zone possessions.

Since Gronkowski’s forearm injury in Week 11 of last season, he has missed 11 of the Patriots next 20 games (including playoffs) during that span.

Is Brady better with Gronk?

Since Gronk entered the league in 2010, Tom Brady has been significantly more effective with Gronkowski on the field. Through Week 13 of 2013, Brady has a 78.5 Total QBR with Gronkowski on the field. Brady has a 59.0 QBR without Gronk on the field. Brady has thrown 5.1 touchdowns per interception with Gronkowski on the field. That ratio drops to 2.2 touchdowns per interception with Gronkowski on the sideline.

This season, the connection between Brady and Gronkowski was not as strong as their first three years together. From 2010 to 2012, Brady threw only two interceptions to go along with 38 touchdowns when targeting Gronk.

This season, Brady threw four interceptions when targeting Gronk to go along with only only four touchdowns. Brady completed 59.1 percent of his passes to Gronkowski this year after completing 72.2 percent of his passes to Gronkowski in their first three seasons together.

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