all along that injuries were going to be a part of the Gronk | Forum

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LAM Dec 4 '17
Pro Picks is going golfing. Cheap Texans Store . More specifically, were taking a mulligan.After asking our sidekick to sub in for last week and seeing him destroy whatever credibility we still had, were dismissing the 5-9-1 mark against the spread and, ugh, a 4-11 total straight up. Yep, 4-11 without the spread.OK, well still include the Week 6 debacle in the overall numbers. But we wont forget who was responsible for them.Speaking of ugliness, what the Packers and Bears have presented this season has been difficult to watch. Green Bay (No. 11 in AP Pro32) cant make its offense click, and Chicago has mastered losing games it is in position to win.I dont think you win your share of games in this league with 16 points, and we just have to get more points, plain and simple, Fox says.The biggest concern in Green Bay is where did the real Aaron Rodgers go? Of course, A-Rod will repeat his mantra of Relax, and hes probably right.I just think its accuracy, he says. Ive missed a couple that Im used to hitting. And you hit those and you take away the throwaways, being able to hit some things on some of those plays instead of extending and throwing the ball away and were right where we need to be.The Packers are favored by 9 1-2 over the Bears (No. 30, AP Pro32). On a short week, getting their offensive woes fixed is a tall task for the Packers. Theyll still win, but ...PACKERS, 20-16KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIPThis one REALLY hurt because we were rolling through five weeks, then the Steelers went over the deep end. Not that we are taking the blame. Look to the FALCONS this week.No. 22 San Diego (plus 5) at No. 5 AtlantaFalcons were robbed at Seattle, will take it out on Chargers.BEST BET: FALCONS, 33-20No. 13 Oakland (plus 2) at No. 28 JacksonvilleHuh? Cant fathom this line because Raiders dont fear East Coast any more.UPSET SPECIAL: RAIDERS, 30-28No. 2 New England (minus 7) at No. 8 PittsburghNo Big Ben, plenty of Tom Terrific. No contest, unfortunately.PATRIOTS, 31-13No. 3 Seattle (plus 1) at No. 14 ArizonaHuge NFC West showdown in October. Cardinals need it more right now.CARDINALS, 22-20No. 15 Houston (plus 7) at No. 6 Denver, Monday nightBrock Osweilers return to Denver. Cant see Broncos losing three straight.BRONCOS, 21-16No. 16 New York Giants (minus 2 1-2) vs. No. 20 Los Angeles at LondonSchedule maker has not been kind to Rams.GIANTS, 23-21No. 1 Minnesota (pick-em) at No. 12 PhiladelphiaUnbeaten Eagles lost momentum when they went on bye. Vikings wont.VIKINGS, 20-17No. 23 New Orleans (plus 7) at No. 10 Kansas CityChiefs might be ready to string together some wins.CHIEFS, 26-23No. 9 Washington (plus 2) at No. 17 DetroitCant figure out either of these teams.LIONS, 27-26No. 32 Cleveland (plus 9 1-2) at No. 19 CincinnatiThe pillow fight of Ohio.BENGALS, 17-13No. 7 Buffalo (minus 3) at No. 15 MiamiDolphins had their shocker in win over Pittsburgh. Bills are improving.BILLS, 22-10No. 27 Indianapolis (pick-em) at No. 21 TennesseeTitans could wind up best team in this mediocre division.TITANS, 17-16No. 18 Baltimore (pick-em) at No. 29 New York JetsRavens lost at Meadowlands last week, win there this week.RAVENS, 19-15No. 24 Tampa Bay (plus 1 1-2) at No. 31 San FranciscoNiners might be worst team in NFL right now.BUCCANEERS, 27-17---Last Week: Against spread (5-9-1). Straight up: (4-11)Season Totals: Against spread (43-43-4). Straight up: (50-42)Best Bet: 3-3 against spread, 4-2 straight up.Upset special: 3-3 against spread, 3-3 straight up.---AP NFL website: and Womens Texans Jerseys .B. - Sebastien Auger made 44 saves as the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the visiting Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 on Saturday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Cheap Texans Jerseys . The winner Saturday will remain in the elite 10-team field next year. "We talked about wanting to be disciplined and stick with our game plan and good things will come," Draisaitl said, who had two goals for the victors. . The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. The nightmare scenario just came true for the Patriots. Given how well Jimmy Garoppolo played during the first two games of the season, you might be able to make a case that Rob Gronkowski was New Englands most irreplaceable superstar. The Patriots will be forced to find out whether thats true, as Gronkowski will undergo surgery for a ruptured disk in his back on Friday. The injury will likely end Gronks season after just eight games, 25 catches and three touchdowns, though the team and Gronkowskis family said in a joint statement that they wanted to wait until after the surgery to make a final determination.This has to be a shock to the Patriots, who used their lone injured reserve/designated to return slot on Jacoby Brissett earlier this week when they obviously would have spent it on Gronkowski if they thought he would require surgery or had a chance of coming back. Theres nothing the Patriots can do about the injury, and theres no sense crying over spilled milk. Whats important now is figuring out whats next -- for the Patriots, Gronkowski and the rest of the NFL. Lets start with New England, which suddenly has a crater-sized hole in their path to the Super Bowl ...Whats next for the Patriots?This is not uncharted territory for the Patriots. Gronkowski already has missed three games this year and played a limited role in two others. He hasnt played a full 16-game season since 2011, though Gronkowski made it through 15 games in 2014 before sitting out a meaningless season-ender in Week 17. The idea of having to definitively plan for a short-term (and possibly a long-term) future without Gronk is unfamiliar, though; this is the first serious injury the likely future Hall of Famer has suffered since 2013, when he tore his ACL and MCL in a collision with then-Browns safety T.J. Ward.The strength of the Patriots offense, especially over the past decade under the on-again, off-again stewardship of Josh McDaniels, has been its ability to change its shape. Having Tom Brady helps, of course, but we saw how effective the offense could be during the first three weeks of the season, with Garoppolo at quarterback and Gronkowski either out or a shell of his usual self. The Patriots have managed to transition from a spread attack with Randy Moss and Wes Welker to the two-tight-end sets of Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez to an offense that incorporates both. Theyve overcome subpar offensive lines and managed to get the most out of players other teams werent interested in, such as?Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis?and Martellus Bennett.Bennett looms large in how the Patriots will handle the Gronkowski mess. The goal for this year was to build an offense around the twin terrors of Gronkowski and Bennett, who would be able to stay on the field and dictate mismatches regardless of the defenses personnel choices. Injuries have prevented them from ever really pulling that off. By the time Gronkowski made it back from his hamstring injury, Bennett got hurt, suffering an ankle injury in a three-touchdown performance over the Browns.Bennett has averaged 38 receiving yards per game without scoring a touchdown since, and he has continued to miss practices with ankle and shoulder injuries. The Patriots surely would have loved to rest Bennett down the stretch to get him fresh for the playoffs. Now hes going to have to play through the pain the rest of the way. Even worse, just as was the case when the Patriots turned to Garoppolo, losing your starter also means youre one additional injury away from lining up replacement-level talent in a key role. The Patriots were forced to turn to Brissett, the third-stringer, when Garoppolo went down after two games, and while he got by against the Texans, he was a mess against the Bills in New Englands first loss of the season.Now the Pats are one aggravated ankle from an empty cupboard at tight end. They traded A.J. Derby to the Broncos for a fifth-round pick in October, a move that seemed smart at the time but has now gone sour for reasons the Patriots could not have realistically projected. The only other tight end on the roster is former Northeastern product Matt Lengel, who has six career snaps to his name. There are no real options on the waiver wire either, with Scott Chandler out after undergoing offseason knee surgery. The only logical fit might be Zach Sudfeld, who was last with the team in 2013.Last week, the Pats used backup offensive lineman Cameron Fleming as their second tight end for 15 snaps, which obviously offers little utility in the passing game. One of the ways to move on from Gronkowski might be to rely more heavily upon the running game, but Gronkowskis absence makes that harder to pull off too. The threat of Gronkowski running up the seam is enough to keep safeties off the line of scrimmage, and his success as a pass-catcher has left him as a criminally underrated run-blocker. I wrote about his role in the running game in 2015?before the Colts-Patriots AFC Championship Game, and Gronkowski has been a huge part of why the Pats have been able to run all over Indianapolis at will in years past.Schematically, the Patriots will likely get away from their two-tight-end sets and shift their base offense toward three-wide-receiver formations, with?Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell getting more snaps. Mitchell and Chris Hogan, in particular, will need to threaten teams downfield more frequently with Gronk missing. Mike Reiss noted yesterday that the Patriots have begun to experiment with a Pony grouping, which includes a pair of receiving backs in James White and Lewis. It wouldnt be a surprise to see the Patriots try to use that grouping more, perhaps in sets with no tight ends, in the hopes of forcing opposing linebackers into a matchup they cant win.The place where the Patriots will miss Gronkowski most, of course, is in the red zone. Research I conducted before the season suggests Gronk was the best red zone weapon in football on a per-play basis going back through 2006. Youve seen Gronk play. You dont need me to tell you he is good in the red zone. The Patriots have actually not been notably great in the red zone this year; theyre third in offensive DVOA but just 12th in points per red zone trip, a number that isnt likely to drastically improve without Gronkowski around.Another kowski looms larger than usual now. If the Patriots do struggle in and around the red zone, it will be critical for Stephen Gostkowski to make sure their drives end in successful field goals and extra points, and he has struggled mightily this season. Gostkowski already has failed on three extra points this season and has missed more field goal attempts in 11 games in 2016 (four) than he had in any of the three previous seasons (three or fewer). The normally reliable Gostkowski has been the 12th-worst kicker in the league this year on scoring plays. With Gronkowski gone, they need the old Gostkowski back.The margin of error for everyone on the Patriots, actually, is dramatically reduced by the Gronkowski injury. An offensive line that has been better this year after the return of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia needs to keep things up; right tackle Marcus Cannon, in particular, cant revert to the guy who made Patriots fans groan before an impressive 2016 season. The Patriots pass defense, a dismal 28th in DVOA heading into this week, cant allow the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick to post 115.2 passer ratings.And of course, as it always does, it comes down to Brady to elevate his game without his best receiver around. As Chris Wesseling of NFL Network noted in November, Brady has been a superstar with Gronkowski and basically a league-average passer without him. Here are Bradys numbers since Gronk entered the league in 2010 in games with and without his longtime tight end. Im also putting the 49ers game on the latter side, given that Gronkowski played just seven snaps before leaving:The average passer rating for the league as a whole since 2010 is 87.0. It puts Brady in a range with the likes of Kyle Orton, Michael Vick, Joe Flacco?and Sam Bradford, all of whom have passer ratings between 83 and 86 over that time frame. Its true that every quarterback will look worse without his No. 1 weapon, and its entirely possible that Brady and the Pats are better-equipped to handle Gronkowskis absence this time around with Bennett.Its also very clear that Tom Brady is not Tom Brady without Rob Gronkowski. Remember who Brady goes to when the chips are down. As much as he trusts Julian Edelman, it was Gronkowski who Brady threw to on fourth-and-the-season twice against the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game last season, even though his tight end was double-covered on both occasions. They simply arent the same team without him.Whats next for the rest of the league?In the short term, very little should change for the Patriots, who are huge favorites to win the AFC East. At 9-2, their closest competition is the 7-4 Dolphins, who have won six straight games with the past five coming by seven pointts or fewer. Wholesale Texans Jerseys. FPI gives the Patriots a 97.7 percent chance of winning their division, more than any other division leader. Even if their true team strength drops with Gronkowski and FPI cant yet realize that, the Patriots have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on the Dolphins with five games left.This should really benefit the trio of contenders in the AFC West more than the Dolphins or Bills. The Patriots currently have a 68.5 percent chance of coming away with the top seed in the AFC, per FPI, even though their 9-2 record is identical to Oaklands. The Raiders are in second at 22.8 percent, mostly thanks to concern about their end-of-season slate, with three road games to come against their AFC West brethren. If the Chiefs beat the Raiders next Thursday and move into first place in the West, they would suddenly be a threat to the Pats, given that the Chiefs would then be 7-2 in the conference, lurking just behind the Pats, who are currently 7-1 in those games.Meanwhile, the Broncos play the Patriots in Denver in Week 15, and Gronkowskis absence might be enough to turn coach Gary Kubiaks team from slight underdogs in that game to slight favorites. The Broncos dont need that victory to make the playoffs from where they are now at 7-4, but its also the toughest remaining game on their schedule. They have road trips to Jacksonville and Tennessee coming up; if they can win both of those games and then beat the Gronk-less Patriots in Week 15, the Broncos would be 10-4 and in great shape to make it back to the postseason.It also benefits the two favorites in the NFC, Dallas and Seattle, who combine to have a 65.3 percent chance of making it to the Super Bowl from the other side of the bracket. Both would rather not see Gronk. Among the their pass defenses, tight end coverage has been both teams biggest issue. The Seahawks are 18th in defensive DVOA against tight ends, their worst mark against any position. Its even more noticeable for the Cowboys, who were the third-worst team in the league against tight ends heading into Thursday nights win over the Vikings. They will still have to deal with Bennett, but Gronkowski is unlikely to be marching on them in Houston.Whats next for Gronk?This is the thorniest question of them all, and the one that is toughest to answer. Gronkowski has made critical decisions in his professional career with his back in mind. In 2009, Gronkowski missed his junior season at Arizona and underwent his first back surgery. He subsequently decided to go pro instead of returning to school to rebuild his stock, which almost never happens. Organizations passed on Gronkowski out of concerns about his back and the missing year of tape, which is how a Hall of Fame tight end gets taken 17 picks after Tim Tebow and falls to the Patriots in the second round.While the tight end emerged as a star and was mostly injury-free before suffering a high ankle sprain during the 2011 playoffs, it became clear that Gronk (or his representation) was concerned about his long-term ability to stay on the field. Its hard to otherwise explain the deal he chose to sign before the 2012 season, just two years after entering the league. While reports at the time suggested that the six-year, $54 million deal was the biggest contract ever handed out to a tight end, the structure was incredibly team-friendly and contained just $12.9 million in guaranteed money.Gronkowski got just that $12.9 million in cash over the first three years of his contract, which is staggeringly low. To put that number in context, the far inferior Jared Cook got $17 million over the first three years of his deal when he hit free agency the following season. Gronkowskis cap hit was 17th among tight ends in 2012, 21st in 2013, and ninth in 2014 before rising to second last year. This year, its sixth in the league at $6.6 million, behind the likes of Jordan Cameron ($8 million), Julius Thomas ($7.3 million) and Kyle Rudolph (also $7.3 million).By getting that $8 million signing bonus two years before free agency, Gronkowski capped his future earnings over the next six years. With base salaries of less than $5 million between 2012 and 2017, the significant money in Gronkowskis deal came way down the line and was totally unguaranteed. (This is why you shouldnt listen when articles say somebody has the biggest contract unless its talking about guaranteed money.) The first gate Gronkowski had to crash was 2016. The Patriots started footing the cap bill for a $10 million option bonus in 2015 but then actually paid the cash out to Gronk this year, stretching the other four cap hits for that bonus through each of the four remaining seasons on his deal.Gronkowski will remain underpaid in 2017; he will have a cap hit of just $7 million, eighth among tight ends and below that of Dennis Pitta and Charles Clay. The money in his deal really only spikes for the first time in 2018, six years after his extension was signed, when Gronks base salary rises from $4.25 million to $8 million and his cap hit jumps from $7 million to $11 million. In 2019, the final year of his deal, Gronkowski has a $9 million base salary and a $12 million cap hit.The problem for Gronkowski is that none of that money is guaranteed. Zero. The Patriots will surely keep him for 2017, even if he doesnt recover from the back surgery, because it would cost nearly as much money to trade or release Gronk ($6 million) as it would to keep him. It also would be nuts to move on from him this quickly, of course. If he doesnt recover to his prior self, though, the Patriots could cut or trade him before 2018 and turn that $11 million into $4 million in dead money. Knowing Gronkowskis injury history, they also could renegotiate that deal down to reduce Gronks cap hit, as they did with Amendola in recent years. In other words, the Patriots have all the leverage. And given his injury history, thats a big deal.Gronkowski has dealt with a fractured forearm, infections in that arm and a torn ACL during his pro career, but his back has always loomed as the long-term problem. Gronkowski underwent his second minor, preventative back surgery in June 2013 amid reports that he would be back in time for Week 1. He didnt return until Week 7, a little more than four months after the surgery. Gronkowski had 114 yards against the Jets in his return, but seven weeks later, the torn ACL ended his season. He wasnt his old self until Week 5 of the following year, the famous Were on to Cincinnati blowout win over the Bengals that started New Englands run to their most recent Super Bowl victory.Its impossible to predict the timetable for Gronkowskis recovery or whether hell be able to return to his previous level of play. What we can note, though, is that building an offense through tight ends is a tough way to make a living. Before the 2012 season, I conducted research on Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, noting how tight ends were more susceptible to injury and had shorter careers than similarly gifted wide receivers.This time around, theres also not much the Patriots can do to make it easier on their star receiver. Coach Bill Belichick already has made positive changes designed to ease the workload on Gronkowski. After Gronk famously fractured his forearm blocking on an extra point attempt, the Patriots took him off of special-teams duties. In an attempt to keep him healthy for the regular season, the Patriots have stopped using Gronkowski in the preseason; he hasnt taken a single preseason snap since the 2012 campaign. Ive seen both articles and fans suggest that the Patriots hold Gronkowski out of meaningless regular-season games, but thats going to make him far less valuable, and its not going to insulate him from injury. Remember: He suffered a chest injury against the Seahawks on a hit by Earl Thomas, as there were concerns Gronkowski might have punctured a lung on the play.There also should not be any arguments calling for Gronkowski to change his style of play, as if shrinking from contact or avoiding full exertion would somehow fix his injury issues. The forearm injury was a fluke accident. He suffered the back strain that led to his college surgery in practice. As far as we know, he suffered his back injury against the Jets diving for an overthrown pass. The torn ACL he suffered was on contact, but it was a pass up the seam where he couldnt protect himself and Ward took out his knees. Its not as if he injured himself, say, throwing Sergio Brown out of the club.The reality is that the Patriots and Gronkowski alike have known all along that injuries were going to be a part of the Gronk experience. Its how they ended up together in the first place; it has underpinned their contract negotiations; and its an inescapable part of Gronkowskis future with the team. Theres no way to eliminate it outside of keeping Gronk on the sidelines when hes healthy, which does nobody any good. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '