So it was no surprise that, following the 30-24 overtime loss, Brady didn't make excuses in addressing the loss and Gronk's injury.
"I hate to see it, but it's really the only way for defenders to hit now," Brady told reporters after the game. "I bet you if you asked probably a lot of the players, they'd probably rather you go high than low. But when you go low, that's what happens.
"I don't think it's dirty, I just think that's the way football is being played now."
"We'll keep fighting. I know that," Brady continued. "It's tough to win. And certainly, when you lose good players, it hurts."
The Patriots quarterback will sorely miss Gronk, who missed significant time in 2013 with ACL and MCL injuries. The tight end is New England's leading receiver in yards and touchdowns.
"He's the best tight end in football, so it's so hard to see these guys get hurt like this," Brady added. "Obviously I have a lot of respect for players who play this game because you risk a lot to play. And I think a lot of times that gets overlooked. You sacrifice a lot, and I think guys sacrificed their bodies and it's hard to see your friends get taken out like that."