The Patriots got bad news long before the game began when Rob Gronkowski suffered a thigh injury in Wednesday’s practice. He’s inactive for this game, leaving Tom Brady without his best offensive weapon.
Through four games, Tom Brady has the Patriots on a record-setting pace when it comes to passing offense. The problem is that his defense is making every other quarterback it faces look like, well, Tom Brady.
New England has the worst passing defense in the league, allowing opponents to post a 116.5 passer rating to start the season. Brady, despite leading the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns, has a 116.6 rating. In 2017, the Patriots are getting an unpleasant idea of what it’s like to face their own amazing quarterback, week in and week out.
The idea that Pence’s departure was coordinated was supported by the president later in the afternoon, when he tweeted he had asked Pence to leave if any players kneeled in protest during the national anthem. Trump said again Monday morning that the trip had been planned.
Had players not kneeled, the administration could have claimed some meaningless victory.
But players from the 49ers have been kneeling from the beginning, last season with Colin Kaepernick and continuing this season without him. Niners safety Eric Reid wrote an editorial in the New York Times the week after Trump’s comments explaining that they were protesting the very real issue of police brutality. He also reminded anyone who would listen that they decided to take knee after a conversation with former Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer, who suggested the gesture as a way to still be respectful of the men Cheap Discount Jerseys and women who serve this country in the armed forces.