Saturday 16 December 2017 / 12:37 PM

PERFECT PATS UNFAZED BY QB SETBACKS

The Patriots have the opportunity to give Brady a nice 4-0 win streak to continue as he returns the following week.

The Patriots have made do in a tough situation. With Brady still suspended, they turned to back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo. He killed it and proved to the Patriots he can play well with the team and under Belichick. That lasted two weeks before the 24-year-old went down with a shoulder injury.

Next up: Jacoby Brissett. The 23-year-old rookie took care of business and blew out the Texans 27-0. Now Jacoby Brissett has got a thumb injury. The Patriots are so close, yet so far to having future Hall of Famer Tom Brady back at the mast.

The Patriots are iffy about playing Garoppolo or Brissett, but both seem to be on the right path to being able to play Sunday. Worst-case scenario, if they can play with their injury, they will have a few weeks to let it heal while Brady runs the show. Bittersweet, I know, but for the two young quarterbacks getting to play under the legendary Belichick for the New England Patriots has been phenomenal exposure. Not to mention that Brady is 39 years old. He might not look like he’s ready to retire, but keep in mind that Peyton Manning just hung up with pads last season and he’s 40. To further prove your worth to the Patriots organization could mean playing with a coach that consistently churns out championship-caliber teams.

The Patriots also have a knack for recruiting and developing wide receivers and tight ends. Look at Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola. Things work much better for a quarterback when you have guys out there that can catch the ball.

The Pats’ offensive line cannot be overlooked either. With more time to throw and make decisions, the progression of an inexperienced young quarterback into a quality QB happens much easier. The Patriots QB also usually has a guy like Blount to steamroll for a big break in yards to convert on those tough 3rd down situations.

As for Week 4 against the Bills, it’s going to be business as usual. This Belichick-Rex Ryan matchup is most likely going to be a Patriots win, even with the Bills running offense. It will be interesting to watch how the Patriots handle their QB situation. If Garoppolo and Brissett are out, the most likely contender will be Julian Edelman. Edelman, a phenomenal wide receiver, will move to play QB because of his prior experience.

If not Edelman, linebacker Jamie Collins has offered his talents. The 6’3, 250-pound Collins would be a tough guy to bring down. Sacking a linebacker is not the same sort of challenge as bringing down a Tom Brady, who seems to be able to be knocked over by a strong breeze during some plays.

Collins has been compared to Newton in terms of size and speed. In the unlikely situations Collins plays QB, he can rely on his experience playing quarterback in high school, when he broke 1,000 yards in passing and rushing. If the Patriots are able to lead at halftime, they will have the 77-0 odds in their favor of being able to come out with a victory at Gillette Stadium.

The record between the Patriots and Bills is 68-41-1, but this can be a bit misleading. The Patriots lead the Bills 27-3 since 2001 through the Belichick/Brady dynasty. This is a unique game, and Buffalo shouldn’t be counted out just yet. They might have some difficulty planning for what QB or strategy to deal with – but with coach Rex Ryan they might have a shot.

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