Watch Tom Brady connect with Rob Gronkowski for the first Patriots TD of the season

Gronk punctuated the play with his usual spike.

Rob Gronkowski
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski makes a touchdown reception during the first quarter against the Houston Texans. –Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tom Brady throws, Rob Gronkowski spikes. It’s a familiar pattern for Patriots fans — as clear a signal as any that summer has turned to fall in New England.

The first Brady to Gronkowski connection of the new NFL season came early in the first quarter against the Texans. The Patriots took over possession deep in Houston territory after Deshaun Watson fumbled on the first snap of the game.

Three plays later, Brady stepped up in the pocket at the 21 yard line and fired a pass to his favorite tight end down the left sideline. Gronkowski reeled the pass in, then spun for the pylon and a 7-0 lead. He punctuated the play with his usual spike.

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The Patriots led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.