Football fans, the day you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived: the NFL season has begun! It kicked off with the nationally televised Thursday Night Football broadcast, in which defending champions New England Patriots hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers. The night kicked off with a big celebration, with CEO Robert Kraft taking the field and the Pats’ faithful sporting an air of defiance after the latest Deflategate developments. At one point they even chanted “where is Roger?” in reference to widely criticized NFL commissioner Roger Goodell!

When the game kicked off, Tom Brady and the Patriots looked in mid-season form. They marched it up and down the field smoothly, and Brady’s timing with slasher Julian Edelman already looked crisp.

And then there was Gronk.

Rob Gronkowski, one of the most indefensible tight ends in history, had himself a day. His first of two touchdowns was classic Gronk, as he caught a ball near the sideline and broke a few tackles before rumbling to the end zone. His second was a simple route toward the back of the end zone, finishing with a perfect drop-in throw by Brady. Gronk’s third score was another red zone special, completing the hat trick and giving Brady his fourth TD pass of the game. When it all was said and done, Gronk had 94 yards on only five receptions, for three touchdowns and three HUGE spikes in the end zone. Edelman finished with 97 yards on eleven catches, and Brady went 25-32 for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Bill Belichick‘s crew handled their opponents from wire to wire, despite some solid looking numbers from the Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger threw for 351 yards, Antonio Brown had nine catches for 133 yards and a score, and DeAngelo Williams silenced his doubters with 127 rushing yards.

Is Gronk the most unstobbable red zone force in the NFL?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Patriots game without controversy. In yet another example of New England opponents facing unexpected hazards, the Steelers’ headsets reportedly malfunctioned for most of the first half. And guess what they were listening to: the Patriots’ radio broadcast. The Pittsburgh coaching staff was, as you would expect, none too pleased. And as teams and players around the league nodded sympathetically, Steelers fans were left to speculate whether this was yet another instance of the Patriots bending the rules. The NFL released a statement to the effect that the matter was under full investigation, and Pats Nation celebrated a 1-0 start.

Where do you stand on the “dirty tricks” allegations against Belichick & crew? Do you think they stand a chance of making another title run? Is Gronk the most unstoppable red zone force in the NFL? As always, Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

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