The NFL game that is being most talked about this week is the 4:25 matchup of the New Orleans Saints at the New England Patriots. There are many storylines surrounding this matchup, and it should be one of the best games of the week as the Saints try to stay undefeated. With Rob Gronkowski rumored to return, this matchup looks like it will be a battle of the NFL’s best TEs. Jimmy Graham has been in the conversation for best TEs since he broke into the league in 2011, but he was always ranked second to Gronk who has been one of the most dominating players in the league.
Since Gronk has struggled with injuries, Graham has taken advantage of it and is now considered the best TE in the league for the time being. The former Miami Basketball star has 37 receptions for 593 yards and six touchdowns for the 5-0 Saints. He is on pace for a monster year and arguably a better year than Gronkowski’s best year in 2011 when he had 18 total TDs. Gronk is more of a traditional TE than Graham is. Graham is similar to Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates who are both former basketball players as well. He is a matchup nightmare and will be a huge focal point for the Patriots defense come Sunday.
Though Rob Gronkowski has missed time, he will be an immediate impact in the Patriots lineup. He may not perform as well as Graham who has been healthy all year, however. It would be nice if this matchup was a bit down the road so we could see both players at the top of their game, but it is still going to fun to watch two of the best TEs who both have very bright futures ahead of them. Look for Gronk to get played physically off the line of scrimmage and draw some double coverage in the red zone. The Patriots may want to consider putting Aqib Talib and a safety on Graham because he is a matchup nightmare, and if the Patriots can’t contain him he will be in line for a big day for the Saints.