Much of the Patriots success in 2014 could hinge on Rob Gronkowski. When the all-world tight end plays, the offense is dynamic. When he doesn't, Tom Brady and Co. often look rather average.

The Patriots averaged 32 points per game when Gronkowski played last year from Week 7 through Week 13. In the games where Gronk didn't play, the Pats averaged 24.6 points per game. That's the difference between the second-most points per game in the NFL last season and the 13th most points per game.

Good news then: reports "all signs point" to Gronk returning in time for Week 1 and the start of the season.

Of course, Gronk's "start date" is largely irrelevant.