|Rob Gronkowski catches a pair of TDs before breaking his arm. (Getty Images)|
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There were moments when Rob Gronkowski looked like Kellen Winslow. Not the soldier. The Hall of Fame tight end who, to me, is probably the best to play his position.
Gronk obliterated the Indianapolis defense and this is being kind. The only thing left was a mushroom cloud and a Jim Irsay tweet. The Colts put a linebacker on Gronk. Nope. They tried a safety. Nope. They tried zone defense. Blew it up. It was truloy remarkable. Go back and look at tape of Winslow. Watch the hip movement, the speed, the route aggression. They're twins.
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By the time Gronkowski was done he had two touchdowns and ten for the season. He became the first tight end in league history to have three consecutive, ten-plus touchdown seasons.
This is a different era
It was a typical Gronkowski performance and it seemed like there would be another week of gushing. Then came the final extra point of the day. Gronkowski went in and when the game was over, disaster had struck.
One source close to the situation estimated Gronkowski would miss four to six weeks. Another source was more dire saying it could be two months. Either way, the Patriots will be without the services of their most explosive player, and face catastrophe.
Or do they?
This will be one of the few places you will read that while the loss of Gronkowski hurts it does not doom the Patriots. In fact, they will survive, and still be a major force in the postseason.
Here's why. The Patriots are built for this. Bill Belichick is one of the league's best stockpilers. He stockspiles offensive talent the way a Hollywood actor does the digits. Belichick hasn't been so good on defense. On offense? He's been Shula, Walsh and Jimmy Johnson.
All Belichick has to do is use two of these pieces to equal one Gronk. You get me? One Julian Edelman (returning kicks or catching passes) and one Wes Welker can equal a Gronk. One Aaron Hernandez and one Danny Woodhead can equal a Gronk. Maybe a Visanthe Schiancoe can contribute.
Not to mention the Patriots finally have a pure athlete in the secondary for the first time in a few years in Aqib Talib. If he can stay off the Adderall and police blotter, he's a huge factor for the Patriots.
Tom Brady is the key. Remember, he went to Super Bowls with Manny, Moe and Jack at wide receiver.
Please, don't misunderstand. Losing Kellen Gronk hurts. But if you think the Patriots are now dead or mortally wounded, you don't know this organization.
It can survive anything. Even the loss of a player as great as Gronk.