After a challenging opening to the season without Tom Brady his return against the Browns last week brought calm to the offense. On Sunday though a more stern test visited Foxborough in the shape of the Bengals and after a close start, the Pats pulled away to win 35-17, on the back of the Brady-Gronk link up.
For New England to be successful this season they need these two to get back to their best. Having struggled with another injury in the opening weeks of the season, a healthy Gronk has returned with force the last 2 weeks with Brady back at the controls of the offense, receiving 5-of-7 for 109 yards against Cleveland and then caused the Bengals hell tearing them apart 7-of-9 for 162 yards and one touchdown. Also, Gronk got into a scuffle with Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who has a reputation for misdemeanors. Andrew Siciliano's reaction on Twitter was brilliant.
Gronk v. Burfict for 12 rounds….— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) 16 October 2016
Hypothetically, who ya got?
A career day for Gronk obviously didn't go down well, in particular with Vontaze Burfict. He has had a history with losing his cool and being over aggressive, for example, the tackle for Le'Veon Bell's injury last season. New England's win was a case of one team executing its offensive plan better than the other. Whereas Bengals drives stalled after promising starts, Brady and Co. finished theirs off theirs with touchdowns.
In terms of play of the day for the Patriots, surprisingly it is not a touchdown but it is the link up between Brady and Gronk the previous play, to the star tight end's first touchdown of the season. See above (Play of the Day - 0:18).
Any comments follow me on Twitter: @chrisjacobs238