The Uncertainty Behind Jimmy Garoppolo’s Future
With inexperienced rookie Brandon Williams covering Chris Hogan on the outside, Garoppolo knew this should be a winnable matchup and was looking Hogan’s way from the start. With a quick stutter at the line Hogan was able to blow past Williams on the outside, but now the question was if Jimmy Garoppolo could deliver the throw. Garoppolo delivered the ball perfectly in stride allowing Hogan to reach the end zone before safety Tony Jefferson could catch him. This impressive first drive as a starter was followed by Garoppolo leading the Patriots for a field goal on the next possession.
Shortly after the first quarter ended tweets were already flying around about whether Garoppolo would do to Brady what Brady himself did to Drew Bledsoe 15 years ago; however, the likelihood of this happening is extremely slim. While Bledsoe was in New England his Quarterback rating was 75.9(Pro Football Reference, Drew Bledsoe). Brady has posted a ridiculous 96.4 Quarterback rating, over his career, a whopping 20.5 points over Bledsoe during his New England tenure (Pro Football Reference, Tom Brady).Bledsoe was a good quarterback for his time in New England, but there is a huge difference between talking about good and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.
Garoppolo played incredibly well going into Arizona and getting a tough fought win against a great team, but this isn’t the first time Brady’s temporary replacement has played well. Back in 2008 when Bernard Pollard tore Brady’s ACL Patriots fans thought all hope was lost. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when it happened. I was at my neighbor’s third birthday party watching the game when Pollard delivered the hit and everyone there was crushed. Nobody expected what would ensue for that season with Matt Cassel at quarterback. While the Patriots did end up missing the playoffs Cassel impressively led the team to an 11–5 record while posting great stats for the year. Despite this great year, Brady’s position was never in question and the fate for Cassel with his stock higher than ever was clear. The Patriots were actively shopping him after the year and ended up getting a second round pick for him. This very well could be the ending that Jimmy Garoppolo finds himself dealing with after the season as well.
The Patriots had a Brady banner hanging in Gillette until the season opener in Arizona, showing that the team is not giving up on Brady. He is the face of the Patriots and after leading the Patriots to the Super Bowl in 2015 and putting up incredible numbers last year, he will still be starting when he gets back. For Garoppolo the future is bright. If Garoppolo continues performing well for the next three games he could easily be traded during the season or after it ends. This could mean he would start over as the cover boy of a new franchise. Or better yet for Patriot fans, he could stay until Brady decides to throw in the towel and could live to be a New England legend. Whatever happens with him as the season progresses, one thing is certain, he has the skill to prosper as an NFL quarterback.
@pfref. “Drew Bledsoe NFL Football Statistics | Pro-Football- Reference.com.” Pro-Football-Reference.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.
@pfref. “Tom Brady NFL Football Statistics | Pro-Football-Reference.com.” Pro-Football-Reference.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.