Tom Brady and the Patriots are at it again. Sitting at 7-3 and facing a long break after a 49-19 beat down on Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and the Jets; Brady and the Pats looked like they usually do. Brady managed 4 total TD’s and once again didn’t throw a pick. Undoubtedly Brady is an elite QB, but could the falling pieces around him cause the team to be 1 and done in the playoffs?

It all started with the Gronk. TE Rob Gronkowski, one of Tom Brady’s biggest weapons, could be done for the rest of the regular season. On an extra point in a blowout win against the Colts, Gronkowski was injured and taken to the locker room with just under 3 minutes to go. What at first seemed like a minor injury turned out to be much worse than anyone could ever expect. He would end up bringing horrible news to New England with a broken forearm.

So what’s next for the Patriots? Aaron Hernandez, the former Florida Gators star has been great for this offense all year long. It’s true that Hernandez can pose just as great of a threat to opposing defenses, but Gronkowski was more than just a Tight End for Tom Brady. “The Gronk” was Brady’s security blanket. Every great QB has one. Peyton Manning had Dallas Clark. Sure, Manning would have still been great without him, but an element of the game completely goes away.

Now, when Brady is in a pinch in the red zone or anywhere for that matter, it will be interesting to see if the loss of the best TE in the league will end up being a difference in a few games.
Julian Edelman, another prime target in the Patriot offense, went back to the locker room with concussion symptoms after being leveled by SS Laron Landry. Before leaving, Edelman had 2 catches for 62 yards in the rout against the Jets. While it didn’t seem to be too serious he could miss a game. Time will tell but head injuries are nothing to play around with.

While Edelman’s loss wouldn’t be too big (if he misses any time at all) it is one more thing the 2012 Patriots have to worry about. These Pats are not the team that you have seen in years past. Just a bit of touch has been lost on both sides of the ball. On offense, Stevan Ridley has been good but not great; and New England can’t seem to find their solid #1 running back.

On the defensive side of the ball, they have been below par to say the least! The rush defense has been slow and the pass defense is letting guys that shouldn’t be, throw ALL OVER them. The acquisition of Aquib Talib may help, but so much work has to be done before their defense is strong enough to make a solid playoff push.