Amongst all the storylines that appeared during the NFL’s off-season, the one that may have the biggest implications on the upcoming season is the health of New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski. Since his arrival, it’s been no secret that Gronk has transformed into Tom Brady’s favorite target and his absences–all because of injury–have greatly affected the statistics of Brady.
In a piece for the Wall Street Journal, writer Michael Salfino addressed the quarterback-receiver duo, proclaiming them to be the best tandem in the NFL.
When Brady and Gronkowski are both on the field, they form the NFL’s best quarterback-receiver combination. The dynamic duo connected 39 times in 64 targeted passes for 592 yards and four touchdowns before Gronkowski’s injury last season. Overall, they are 223-for-323 with 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions. When Brady throws to Gronkowski, his passer rating is 132.8, 37.5 points higher than on all other passes, according to Stats LLC.
To further make his point, Salfino accompanied this graphic to show how Brady-Grok compared to the other best quarterback-receiver duo’s in the NFL.
With an improved defense thanks to the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, many have made the Patriots their picks to make the 2015 Super Bowl. But the presence of Rob Gronkowski may greater affect the team than any defensive tandem the Patriots could stumble upon. With Gronk on the field, not only does Brady’s life become easier, but so do the receivers around them.
Hopefully the All-Pro tight-end can stay healthy for all 16-plus games.