New England Patriots Stock Watch: Rob Gronkowski, Brandon LaFell Up


Here is this week’s New England Patriots stock watch:


Rob Gronkowski

I think it’s safe to say Gronk is back. The big man struggled out of the gates this year as he continued to recover from his knee injury, but it is clear the old Gronk is back. He dominated the Bears whenever he went out for a pass yesterday, as he completely dismantled their defense. Aside from a healthy Calvin Johnson, Rob Gronkowski is the biggest mismatch in the NFL, and the Patriots’ offense has clearly benefited from number 87 getting back to 100%.

Tom Brady

30-35, 354 yards, five touchdowns. No words necessary.

Brandon LaFell

The Pats have needed an outside receiver presence ever since Randy Moss left after the 2009 season, and they may have found that guy this year in Brandon LaFell. The 27-year-old reeled in 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown yesterday, as he toasted whoever decided to try their hand at covering him on the outside.

Offensive Line

This offensive explosion wouldn’t have been made possible without a great performance from the offensive line, and that is exactly what they did. Tom Brady had all day to throw the ball, and the running lanes for Jonas Gray and company were open all day long. The return of Dan Connolly and Bryan Stork really helped a group that was already much improved, and the result was a 51-point outing.

Brandon Browner

Browner’s aggressive and physical play obviously made a big impact on this Patriots defense yesterday, and his coverage skills helped their secondary neutralize Chicago’s passing attack. Having someone that can take out bigger receivers is huge, but having someone that instills fear into the opponent can be even bigger.


Shane Vereen

Vereen was questionable coming into this game due to an injury, so I guess we could give him a small pass, but the young running back really struggled yesterday. He amassed a mere 55 total yards, and dropped two big Tom Brady passes. Jonas Gray severely outperformed him.

Julian Edelman

The former college quarterback only caught one pass in this game, and he dropped two others that should have been caught. Hopefully he rebounds next week against Denver.