How do you think the Patriots will adjust their offensive game plan to account for the absence of Rob Gronkowski?
Raj: They're obviously going to implement Hooman in Gronk's spot. As we all know though, he's not a reliable replacement. This means the WRs will get more attention. Look for Amendola to be more involved. Also don't forget about Edelman, who's already established himself as the Patriots' #1 wide receiver, to make some clutch plays. It would be even better if Collie, Thompkins and Dobson got going as well. If the passing game doesn't favor the Pats, I think we will see a lot of big plays from Shane Vereen and might even let Stevan Ridley have more opportunities. Anything works at this point, if you really think about it.
Jason: The injury actually presents the Pats with an opportunity. I don't think it's an accident that the Patriots have seemingly scored at will when they've been forced to throw the ball the past three weeks. The best playmakers — Amendola, Edelman and Vereen, in particular — are on the field together most when the Pats are forced to throw. And don't forget that the unquestioned best player on the field in every game is wearing #12, and when he's allowed to do his thing, good things happen. I say, screw this whole idea of balance. Throw, throw and throw some more!
Derek: I think you'll see the two tight end formations scrapped almost completely. I honestly don't know if we'll even see many single tight end packages. Unless you need the blocking, putting Hooman, Mulligan, or D.J. Williams out of the field prevents Josh McDaniels from putting his most explosive players out on the field. If I'm the Patriots, I'm trotting out a lineup of Edelman, Amendola, and Dobson (when healthy) with both Vereen and Ridley in the backfield. Dobson can stretch the field. Edelman and Amendola can run around like pinballs dinking and dunking all over the middle. While the dual threat of Vereen/Ridley will keep the defense guessing and prevent them from overselling on the pass. It's time to get unconventional. Brady may not have Gronk, but he still has playmakers. If he can win a Super Bowl throwing to David Patten, he can still win one with this current crew of receivers.