New England Patriots: Four Takeaways From 41-13 Win Over The Miami Dolphins

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Dec 14, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) scores a touchdown during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots won 41-13. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Gronkowsi Needs To Stay Healthy

The biggest reason New England finally got their offense in gear in the second half was the emergence of Rob Gronkowski. The big tight end was held catchless in the first half, and I don’t think it was a coincidence that the Pats only gained 102 yards, and were responsible for zero points.

However Gronk was back to smashing and dashing in the third period, as his 35-yard reception got things rolling, and his 27-yard touchdown pass really put the game away for New England. Gronkowski was utilized as a blocker for a good portion of this game, and he was dominant in that facet of the game as well. But number 87 is at his best when he is abusing linebackers and safeties in the passing game, which makes it extremely important the Pats keep him healthy going into the playoffs.

When Gronkowski is on the field, Tom Brady always has a mismatch to go to. There is nobody in the NFL that can cover him, which means they will either get burned by Gronk, or double and triple him, which leaves 1-on-1 opportunities elsewhere. If this offense wants to be successful in the posteason, they need Gronkowski at 100%.