Patriots Match-Up Mania: Gronk vs. Graham?

There probably won't be any Gronk this Sunday.

There probably won’t be any Gronk this Sunday.

The October 13 game involving the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots looked to be one of the games to remember from the NFL’s 2013 calendar. Tom Brady. Drew Brees. Touchdowns galore. Oops.

Now, it could be something else. The title of this piece this week represents the change that has taken place. Saints TE Jimmy Graham has surpassed Rob Gronkowski as the league’s prototype tight end. He’s got six touchdowns already and has led the Saints in catches two straight years. Bill Belichick is aware that his defense has to deal with Graham, Brees and the entire Saints offense to have a chance to win. BB on Graham:

Treat him like whatever you want, but he is what he is. Everybody has tried everything. (They’ve) tried to jam him at the line, at times he’s had linebackers on him, safeties on him, double cover him. He’s seen all of it. He’s quick, he’s a big target, he’s a hard guy to cover, no question. He’s not always in the normal tight end position. Sometimes he’s extended in a receiver type of look.

Sounds like a job for Aqib Talib, or pretty much anyone the Patriots can find. Dont’a Hightower also says they can’t just focus on Graham.

He’s one of their go-to-guys. But we don’t just have to try to stop him. They have other guys. . . . Drew Brees is a great quarterback. (Coach) Sean Payton does a great job spreading the ball around. We just have to go out there and execute.

While Graham and Brees are gearing up for another onslaught, Brady must be wondering who’ll be able to suit up. According to, Gronk is focused on the “integrity of the bone” in his allegedly surgically repaired arm. That sounds really bad, doesn’t it? It sounds like this week is out and that future weeks are doubtful, too.

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