Life without Rob Gronkowksi will begin this week for the New England Patriots. It was confirmed today that Gronk has a torn ACL, MCL, and he also suffered a concussion from the devastating hit delivered by T.J. Ward in yesterdays game against the Browns.
The Patriots offense is drastically different without their star tight end on the field. Their points per game drop from 32 to 21, the TD to interception ratio goes from 13-5 to 8-4, and the most demoralizing figure shows the offensive red zone efficiency drop from 69 percent to 41 percent. The Patriots are going to have to rework their offense in order to survive without Gronk for the remainder of the season.
One of the only bright spots looking forward is the emergence of Shane Vereen at running back. Vereen had a monstrous game yesterday with 153 yards receiving and one touchdown. He is needs to become that x-factor for the Patriots offense with no Gronk on the field. It looks like Vereen has the ability to create miss matches and draw the attention of the defense in order to allow separation for other receivers.
One snapshot we have of Vereen and the Patriots offense without Gronk is the first game of the season against Buffalo. The Patriots won the game and were able to score 23 points. Vereen had 101 rushing yard and 7 receptions for 58 yards. That gives me a little confidence, but 23 points is still 23 points and that won’t get it done with the defense we have now.