If there was one play that told you everything you needed to know about Sunday’s 51-23 Patriots blowout of the Bears, it was New England tight end Rob Gronkowski’s third touchdown of the day.
Gronkowski caught a pass, flung Bears safety Ryan Mundy aside as if he were a gnat and then outran the rest of the Bears defense for a 46-yard touchdown. The play captured just how mismatched the two teams were all day long and illustrated that Gronkowski is back at a very high level after a long stretch of being compromised because of injuries. After the game, Gronkowski said that he was feeling good about how things are shaping up for him.
“I like scoring touchdowns for sure,” Gronkowski said, via ESPN.com. “That’s why when I get in the red zone my eyes light up.”
We saw last season how good the Patriots offense was with Gronkowski compared to when he wasn’t able to be in the lineup. The last few weeks have provided further evidence of that and the tight end’s health is a big reason why the worries about the Patriots offense after their loss to Kansas City feel like distant memories.
Gronkowski did leave the game because he was dehydrated, but said that he could have returned if the game were competitive and vowed to drink more water in the coming weeks to avoid a recurrence of the problem. That’s a far easier solution than has been available for his other injury issues and the Patriots offense should continue to play at a high level if it remains his only health concern moving forward.