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Rob Gronkowski identifies ‘main problem’ with Patriots amid awful season

Rob Gronkowski identifies ‘main problem’ with Patriots amid awful season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots are 2-7 for the first time since 2000, and it doesn’t look like the losing is going to stop anytime soon.

The Patriots had numerous chances to beat the Washington Commanders at home in Week 9, but they just couldn’t execute well enough offensively late in the game and lost 20-17. While the defense certainly isn’t playing at a high level, the primary concern with this team is the offense.

New England is the second-lowest scoring team in the league at 15 points per game. The Patriots offense also ranks 27th in both total yards per game and third down percentage.

These struggles offensively are a stark contrast to what we saw for most of the last two decades. One player who played an important role in some elite Patriots offenses during that span was tight end Rob Gronkowski.

He joined the “Up & Adams” show Wednesday on FanDuel TV and gave his take on the current state of the Patriots.

“It is a little weird that they’re in last place with the worst record in the AFC,” Gronkowski said. “That’s weird. It’s hard to talk about it because it’s so weird. I would say they don’t look like a Coach Belichick team. They don’t look like they’re coached by Coach Belichick at all.”

While there are a lot of issues with the Patriots right now, one specific weakness stands out to Gronk.

“The problem with the Patriots is they’re in a lot of games, they just don’t know how to seal the deal,” Gronkowski said. “For example, the game last week against the Commanders, JuJu Smith-Schuster had the game-sealing drop to lose the game. They had another opportunity, but JuJu dropped the ball. If you go back to a couple of the other games, there are many situations like that where they can’t close at all. This team can’t close and that’s the main problem.”

The Patriots have a lackluster 1-4 record in games decided by one score this season. New England typically found ways to consistently win these close games, largely thanks to the stellar play of legendary quarterback Tom Brady. The current Patriots have lacked the discipline and execution required to emerge victorious in those kinds of matchups. Bad penalties and turnovers have plagued them all season.

The Patriots will be back in action Sunday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts from Germany. Another loss would be pretty troubling for the Patriots considering they’ve won nine of their last 10 games against the Colts.

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