New England Patriots: Grading Position Groups Week 12

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Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is helped by trainers after being injured during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends

Grade: B+

With the wide receivers ineffective, the Patriots offense relied heavily on its tight ends. Coined the “Twin Towers” during the preseason, Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler combined for 11 catches for 146, and each crossing the goal line for a touchdown.

Before injury, Gronk was Brady’s only reliable target, and he didn’t disappoint. He was left in single coverage early in the game, which he quickly exploited. His 23-yard touchdown gave the Patriots their first points of the night, and forced Denver to adjust their defense. However, Gronk left the game with a knee injury which, at the time, looked serious, it was reported that he only suffered a sprain and should be back within a few weeks.

Chandler, meanwhile, may have finally had his breakout game as a Patriot, after an underwhelming performance to this point. After a drop early, Chandler recovered to be one of Brady’s favorite targets on the night. With Gronk out for the next couple of weeks, it would be great if the 6-foot-6 tight end could finally find his groove with Tom Brady and the offense for the playoffs.

Next: Offensive Line