On a possible serious injury to Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady being wicked smart, and Tony Romo blowing away Phil Simms yet again. Three things we learned in the Patriots - Saints game Sunday.
1. One win, multiple losses
While it was a return to form for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense within their 36-20 win over the New Orleans Saints Sunday (including 362 total yards in the first half, the second-largest total during the Bill Belichick era), it seems that New England paid the price for every score they attained. The Patriots left New Orleans with their first win of the season, but don't be surprised if the midweek injury report resembles something out of a shopping list for household essentials. As it was, Brady headed into the contest with only three wide receivers — Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, and Philip Dorsett — after Danny Amendola was a no-go with a concussion and a knee injury. Hogan went limping off the field during the third quarter, a short time after tight end Rob Gronkowski (116 yards receiving and a touchdown) went to the dreaded sideline tent with what was reported a groin injury. It’s the same place Dorsett (knee) visited in the fourth quarter of a game that also saw injuries to running back Rex Burkhead, (scored the team’s first touchdown of the day), and cornerback Eric Rowe (groin). Add that to a walking wounded list that also includes linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee), Julian Edelman (out for the season), and Malcolm Mitchell (knee). If last week’s defensive worries against the Chiefs were reason to wonder if Rob Ninkovich might cancel his retirement, maybe this week’s injury-filled reaction might be hoping that Belichick hung onto wide receiver Andrew Hawkins’ phone number after the former Cleveland Brown announced his own retirement at the beginning of training camp with the Patriots last summer.