Patriots offense struggles in loss without Gronk

-Ben Babcock

In the week 14 matchup between the top seeded Patriots and the conference rival Dolphins. The Dolphins lead in almost every category with 13 more minutes of possession and over 100 more total yards. Xavien Howard picked off Tom Brady twice, and the Miami defense held New England to only 25 yards rushing and a total of 248 yards. New England lost all-star tight end Rob Gronkowksi this week due to suspension from a late hit last week against the Bills. This may have hurt the Patriots, but they just didn’t seem to get into a groove at all tonight. They went 0-11 on third downs, the last time they didn’t convert a single third down conversion was in 1991, and the Dolphins managed to score the most points against New England by any team since week 4. The Dolphins are in the hunt for a wildcard spot and tonight was a huge win for them. The Patriots play the now top seeded Steelers in Pittsburgh on sunday. Gronkowski will return from his suspension for this matchup. This is a must win for the Patriots if they hope to secure the top seed in the AFC for the playoffs.