Very little went right for the New England Patriots in the team’s 2017 season opener. After getting off to a strong start, Tom Brady and company fell at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs by a runaway margin in front of a massive national television audience and that produced considerable buzz that the team was more flawed than most wanted to believe.

One such hiccup in New England’s first contest was a listless performance from Rob Gronkowski. While the All-Pro tight end had a near-touchdown catch in the first quarter, he produced only two grabs for 33 yards and was effectively taken away by the now-injured Eric Berry.

That combination and, perhaps buzz out of Foxboro, led one pundit to indicate there are “rumblings” of a steep decline from Gronkowski overall.

Gronkowski is only 28 years old but he has battled injury concerns throughout an explosive and impressive career. It would be wildly unfair to think that he simply fell off the table based on one performance but, if these “rumblings” prove to be true, it could spell trouble for an offense that is already existing without the work of the injured Julian Edelman in the slot.

Tom Brady is still good at football and the Patriots should be fine. With that said, New England’s ultimate ceiling is lower if Gronkowski isn’t the best tight end in football and this report indicates that player may not be returning.

After one miserable game, “rumblings” around the league present one former Super Bowl champ in a less than positive light Rob Carr/Getty Images
Rowland is a lifelong Atlanta sports fan that also grew up in a Michigan Wolverines household. He previously worked with FanSided, SB Nation and UPROXX sports and covers college football for FanBuzz.
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