Rob Gronkowski suffers groin injury in Patriots' victory

The New England Patriots took on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday as both teams looked to avoid starting the season 0-2. The Patriots' PATSgaudy record following losses is reinforced by Tom Brady's lifetime record of 42-10 as a starter in games after a loss, while the Saints are 7-3 in home openers during Payton's coaching tenure.

The season began with notions that the Patriots were equipped for a potential run at a 19-0 season.

WORST DROP: The otherwise sure-handed Burkhead had a Brady pass clunk right off his hands on the Pats' third drive. Instead, it was a groin injury, the severity of which is not immediately clear - although he did tell ESPN reporter Mike Reiss that he was "good" after the game.

The next time the Saints picked Brady off, they were called for defensive holding. For him to single White out as one of the best, means the pass-catching running back must truly be doing something special in Brady's eyes.

For the last 18 seasons, the mantras of the New England Patriots - drummed into them by head guru Bill Belichick - have been "next guy up" and "winning, not stats, is all that matters". That number was down to one by day's end.

As part of the NFL's statement, the league also reminded players of the importance of self-reporting any concussion-like symptoms.

"Well, we'll do the best with what we have available to us", Belichick said.

In Brady and the Saints' Drew Brees, the game featured the NFL's top two active quarterbacks in terms of career yards and touchdowns.

Two games into the season, the three-headed stable of backs the Saints has assembled haven't been given a chance to see how the team plans to divide their carries. Rob Gronkowski was the No.1 target for Brady, as he totaled six receptions, 116 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown.

The Patriots wasted little time jumping on the Saints, as they outscored them 20-3 in the first quarter. The usually high-scoring unit managed just four field goals before scoring a touchdown late in the game.

Odds: New England is favored by 4 points.

Coaches have to find a way to maximize the strengths of their players.

BEST SWAT: Cornerback Jonathan Jones slapped away a potential touchdown pass from Brees to wide receiver Ted Ginn in the second quarter.

The Patriots return to action on Sunday, September 24 when they host the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.

  • Julie Sanders