Sssssoooo…we all know Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt Sunday. Quite a shame, since it looked like he was going to throw for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns. Ok, a smidge of an exaggeration. But he was indeed carving up the ‘Phins. And was off to a great start in his 4 game “audition”, either for other teams or maybe even for the Pats themselves. Even with the injury, talk shows have been heating up this quarterback “controversy” this week and wondering if now the organization trades the legend, instead of the kid. All the talk up to this season was that hopefully the Pats could get some picks or something of worth if they traded Garoppolo after this season, when he has one year left on his contract. Now the talk is Jimmy G may be the future and Tom Brady could be the one traded. Interesting to talk about for sure. But irrelevant at this time I suppose.
We can talk about it for a second here if you wish. You may ask…what would the Blowhard do? The answer is…I don’t know. Sometimes I just simply blindly follow the mantra “In Bill We Trust”. Therefore, whatever Bill Belichick decides to do, I am fine with. But…that is a cop-out, I know. The real answer is…I don’t know. Jimmy G surely has looked good so far. But it has been only five and a half quarters (I am not counting any mop-up appearances over his first two seasons). Brady has looked pretty damn good for 16 years. And although he is 39 years old, he hasn’t shown much in the way of slowing down. Sure, being on a great team and having a decent line…as well as not being able to breathe on QB’s or WR’s in the NFL these days…has helped a ton. But you still have to do the job. He clearly has. I expect him to do the same this year when he returns in Week 5.
My initial knee jerk reaction would be to keep the 25-year-old (in November) guy over the guy turning 40 next year, despite the older dude being a legend and probably having a great year or two or even three left. How can I callously cast Brady aside like that? I don’t want to, but it just makes too much sense. IF you think that the younger guy can play at least a high level for the next 15 years himself. Maybe not at Brady’s level, but perhaps close? But that is a huge IF. Especially based on a few quarters of real action. I can’t really be a judge of that, however. I don’t see Jimmy every day in practice and working out in the offseason and all that. But Bill does. The other coaches do. So I have to really have to rely on their judgement, especially since they know a whole lot more about football than me (yup, that’s true!)…and they’ve been more than a little successful.
Here’s something I haven’t heard much of this week though. Jacoby Brissett looked capable in his two and a half quarters Sunday. “Capable” is not much, I acknowledge. BUT, pretty good for his first NFL action, with only one training camp under his belt. Granted, the offense was dumbed down a bit…a lot, actually. And the fumble was pretty putrid. But he looked like he belonged. For about half a game anyway.
The organization drafted Jimmy G high in the second round in 2014, presumably as insurance for a then 37-year-old Brady. At 37, it would only be natural if his play started to decline and then Jimmy Football would then be “the QB of the future”. This is certainly not new news. Nor is it new news that Brady has defied the odds and has played at a high level since then.
Now though, shouldn’t the drafting of Brissett in the third round now mean that HE is the new Garoppolo? Still pretty high to be taking a QB just to be a backup long-term. Brady has extended the transition timeline. Too early to trade a legend in favor of a young player? Etc. Again, I have no idea if Brissett or Garoppolo can be long-time starters in the NFL. But Bill and the team should at least have an inkling. In any event, it really seems to me the choice is not between Jimmy G and Brady. I’d say the “plan” is to keep Brady, trade Garoppolo (this offseason most likely) and groom Brissett to take over 3-4 years from now. The plan that they were supposed to follow with just Jimmy and Tom a couple of years ago.
If Garoppolo is the next Brady and Brissett is the next Average Joe, then that “plan” is obviously stupid. But don’t we think they know what they are doing? As of right this second, this is what I believe the Patriots will do. Doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind by the end of the season though!
So I guess I talked about that for more than a second…
Going back to the particular game, thankfully the Patriots built up that huge 31-3 lead before they got real conservative on offense when Jimmy Football departed. Because the defense apparently decided the game was already over then. That was the immensely disappointing aspect of the game. Why did the defense collapse when they knew what was coming? Just throw after throw after throw as the Dolphins tried to come back and make it a game? Stupid.
Moving forward, the defense is one big reason I am not throwing in the towel on the Houston game Thursday. Sure, if Garoppolo can’t play, then it’s just Brissett. Who backs up if he is hurt? I personally think it is telling that the Pats have not signed another veteran QB who can at least hand off if he has to. I know it would be kind of impossible to get any new QB up to speed in like 3 days. But a vet who has bounced around could be capable enough if an emergency occurs you would think. The team hasn’t even worked out any QB’s. Maybe that means Jimmy will play in some capacity. Maybe it is a smokescreen. Maybe they will sign one on Friday for Week 4. Just gamble Brissett can hold up for one game. And if he goes down, have Julian Edelman, AJ Derby, James White or Alan Branch hand off or just QB draw the rest of the game and eat the L if necessary. Who the hell knows?
But I think the D bounces back big-time Thursday after that embarrassment on Sunday. They keep the score low. And even with Brissett and a conservative offense, the Pats still have a chance to win. Houston is the one traveling on a short week and that will help. Plus, even though the Texans are 2-0, let’s not get too excited. Both games were at home. Week 1 against a putrid Bears team. Week 2 against what appears to be an average KC team. KC may end up being good, but I don’t believe they are right now, especially on the road. No Jamal Charles. No Justin Houston. Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin as guys that can catch the ball, but not much else there. Alex Smith still the QB. You get the point.
As the week goes on, I’m feeling better about the Patriots’ chances. I am not saying they will win the game. But I think they have a better chance than people realize. Either way at QB, I am looking forward to it. If Garoppolo toughs it out and plays, I’ll be impressed. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Brissett put in a full game to see where he is at.
If they lose, they lose. I think they beat Buffalo regardless in Week 4. Then they are 3-1 during the Brady suspension. That’s where they were supposed to be anyway, right?
Posted on September 20, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Bill Belichick, Houston Texans, Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, NFL, QB of the future, Super Bowl, Tom Brady. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.