Things were looking good for the New England Patriots’ offensive team up until Jimmy Garoppolo was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury on Sunday.
Garoppolo did a great job in a high-profile replacement situation – with Tom Brady suspended for the first four matches of the season –and could have easily have continued to lead the Pats’ offense, but that stint is over after a big hit from Miami Dolphins Kiko Alonso in the second quarter.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2016
It’s been an interesting run for Garoppolo, but when Brady’s back…Brady’s back. Fortunately for Garoppolo and the Patriots, the 24-year-old has proven himself on the field and now the franchise have the choice between two great quarterbacks. The headache here is whether or not to keep Garoppolo and Brady. Garoppolo has youth on his side and will likely be offered a massive contract in his free agency after the 2017 season. Brady, on the other hand, is 39 years old and is at that Peyton Manning age of retirement.
In wake of the Garoppolo injury, the Patriots brought in 23-year-old Jacoby Brissett, who Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman described thusly: “[Brissett is] young so you’ve got to let him feel his groove. I’m proud of him and I look forward to preparing with him. He’s very mature and poised. Especially for a millennial.”
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 19, 2016
Now, when I heard the name Jacoby Brissett bells went off in my head. I remember Brissett because he came to the University of Florida in my freshman year in 2011 as a true freshman and played backup to John Brantley and then Jeff Driskel. Keep in mind these are the dark quarterback years at UF where it was frustratingly awful to watch the post-Tebow and -Newton Gators throw interception after interception.
Overall, Brissett wasn’t awful but didn’t inspire much confidence. Then again, he was between the ages of 18 and 20 when I saw him play and there was a lot of room for development. Now he’s in the starting role under legendary coach Bill Belichick, filling in for legendary quarterback Tom Brady. This is a great position for Brissett to get the exposure of a lifetime and I’m hoping he can work wonders. Brissett finished 6 of 9 for 92 yards and was able to close out the game with the Dolphins coming back quickly.
— 98.5 The Sports Hub (@985TheSportsHub) September 18, 2016
Meanwhile, the countdown to Tom Brady’s release from his Deflategate timeout continues. As humorous as the image of Tom Brady sitting in the corner with a dunce cap is, he is only two more games away from getting back on the field. Brady, arguably still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, is enough to get the Patriots back on the road to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots play the Texans in their next game, and this might be the team that gives the Pats their first L for the season. The Texans’ defense with JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney is not an ideal opponent for a rookie quarterback. This will be a difficult matchup and leads us to wonder what would happen if one of these 260 pound plus behemoths murder the Patriots’ third street quarterback.
Tom Brady is playing a game of catch with Jim Harbaugh at pregame in Michigan stadium. pic.twitter.com/2FFydDdloL
— Patrick Barron (@BlueBarronPhoto) September 17, 2016
Do they strap on some pads and a helmet on coach Belichick and throw him in? Realistically, the Patriots would throw in Edelman, who played quarterback at Kent State, but then they would be out a phenomenal wide receiver. This isn’t something they can really risk happening without Rob Gronkowski out on the field too. Gronk may or may not be able to play next week, so worst-case scenario Brissett needs to stay healthy and focused.
The following game is against the Buffalo Bills and will not be as taxing on the O-line. Both of the upcoming fixtures will be at home for the Patriots, so at least Brissett will be as comfortable as a 23-year-old starting quarterback for the Patriots can be – but the Garoppolo injury has undoubtedly thrown another spanner into an already tenuous QB scenario for the would-be title contenders.