Phyrric Victory is defined as a victory offset by a staggering loss. The Browns/Patriots match up this weekend is indeed a phyrric victory. Another major injury, another star player, Gronk this time hitting the IR, makes you wonder how much more this team can handle.
The first six games of the season were a rough go for the Patriots offense. One season removed from a high flying season chock full of offensive production to a offense that sputtered along, scoring an anemic 21 ppg average (anemic in light of what Pats fans are used to seeing). Gronks return in the Jets game didn't amount to much statistically - lot of yards, no touchdowns, but it did mean teams now had to plan for him in future games. Sadly tht dimension to the offense is now gone for the foreseeable future - including much of 2014 if you believe what media reports are saying
It worked for the Patriots. In the first 6 games the O averaged 20.8 ppg. The next 6 with Gronkowski they average jumped to just over 32 ppg (not counting the Browns game). The offense has sputtered in the first half of games of late but they put points on the board when it mattered the most. They did well to pull their asses out of the fire in the Browns game, but what now? Can this high-wire act continue? While they are in a good position, the Pats have not won the division yet.
Going forward we need more contributions from the receivers. The tight end position isn't going to take us far this year. Earlier in the season I was more than a little ticked that the Pats didn't bring in a veteran WR to help out the rookies. Now it seems that there was wisdom in that decision. The extra work the rookies got back then will hopefully start to pay dividends now. It has to otherwise the Pats are one and done come January.