10 things Patriots fans should be thankful for

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2. A healthy Gronk

The injury bug has hit the Patriots hard as of late, but at least Rob Gronkowski isn’t hurt. His presence alone makes the Patriots’ offense very formidable because of the matchup problems he presents for opposing defenses. Simply put, defensive coordinators don’t sleep well the night before playing the Pats because of Gronk.

Through Week 11, Gronk’s stat line reads 51 receptions, 843 yards, 16.5 yards per reception and eight touchdowns. That 16.5 yard per catch stat ranks seventh among all pass catchers, and his eight touchdowns are tied for third with Odell Beckham Jr. behind only Tyler Eifert and DeAndre Hopkins.

Last week, the Bills actually did an excellent job of shutting down Gronk, holding him to just 37 yards on two receptions. But Gronk still exerted an influence on the game by just being himself and drawing so much attention, as Amendola was able to break loose for 117 yards.

As long as No. 87 is in the huddle, the Patriots will have the upper hand in every game. If that’s not something to be thankful for, I don’t know what is.

Next: 1. Tom Brady