10 reasons why the Patriots are undefeated

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

9. A healthy Rob Gronkowski

It’s simple: when Gronkowski is healthy, the Patriots just about always win. When he’s not, the going is a bit tougher. Gronk being active in every one of the Patriots’ games up to this point is directly linked to fat zero in the Patriots’ loss column right now.

Gronk is known for his size and power, but he has also displayed impressive speed, as he did last week on that 47-yard catch-and-run against the Miami Dolphins. His 16.2 yards per catch rank 10th among all qualified players and first among qualified tight ends. When he gets going north-south, Gronk is essentially an oversized fullback with great cutting ability.

It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a touchdown machine. Gronk’s seven receiving touchdowns are tied for first with Odell Beckham Jr. and Larry Fitzgerald. When the Patriots need a touchdown, all they have to do is locate Gronk in single (or even double) coverage and let him find the end zone on his own accord.

This writer is not the only Patriots fan that cringes every time a defensive player chucks his body below Gronk’s knees in the dreaded ACL area. As long as Gronk is on the field, the Patriots are going to have a very good chance to win. His clean bill of health thus far (knock on wood that continues to be the case) is a major reason why the Pats are undefeated.

Next: 8. Yards after catch