Returning from reconstructive knee surgery, Gronkowski wasn't running a full route tree, couldn't separate from coverage and failed to make defenders miss after the catch.
Gronkowski ran intermediate and deep routes, made sharp cuts, forced missed tackles, absorbed crushing hits and had a leaping 18-yard touchdown nullified by penalty. In short, he looked like the player who led the league in red-zone touchdowns, quarterback-to-receiver completion percentage and yards after catch over his first three NFL seasons.
"He's a great option out there," Brady added. "So if they don't cover him, he usually gets it. If they put extra guys on him then it frees everybody else up. He's tough to stop. You put a safety on him, he's got size. You put a linebacker on him, he's got speed. He's been that way since he got into the NFL."
Gronk is indeed back -- which will hopefully spare us from any more contrived narratives claiming the end is nigh for Brady.