The New England Patriots suffered two crushing blows early in today’s AFC Divisional Playoff Game. Their second leading rusher and x-factor Danny Woodhead left with an injury. His return is questionable.
Then, their start tight end Rob Gronkowski who just came back from a broken forearm was re-injured going for a pass from Tom Brady. Gronkowski stretched out trying to make a pass and stay inbounds but landed on his previously injured arm. His return is also questionable.
After two crushing blows to the Patriots offense you would have thought they would be doomed. Not so fast they say.
New England leads 17-3 in the second quarter over the Houston Texans and have 164 total yards to the Texans 84. Brady is 9 for 15 thus far for 123 yards and has only been sacked once.
The star replacement has actually been Shane Vereen. He led the team in rushing this season with getting just over 1,200 yards and has been a major factor so far today. Vereen, has 36 yards on only five carries including a touchdown. He also has 45 yards on three receptions and another score to give the Patriots a huge advantage on offense.
If New England is going to win this game it’s going to be because of their defense and the efficiency of Vereen. I don’t expect Woodhead and Gronkowski to be back this game. If the Texans can get in the endzone and keep this game close Vereen and tight end Aaron Hernandez are going to have to come up huge.
Houston needs to do a better job at benefiting from the Patriots injuries.