New England Patriots: 10 X-Factors In 2015

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4. Jimmy Garoppolo (Quarterback)

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Okay this one is a bit of a stretch, but if Garoppolo is the teams starter for the first four games of the season due to a suspension for Tom Brady, he must step up and win at least two of those games. If he is the starter he will be thrown into the fire right away in week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Keeping up with Pittsburgh’s high-powered offense will be a tall order for the young gunslinger. The next three weeks are winnable games against Buffalo, Jacksonville and Dallas. An 0-4 record certainly won’t sink the Pats, but a 2-2 start would be the best-case scenario. It is also important for Garoppolo to get some experience that he can build on going forward.

Again, this all rests on the outcome of Tom Brady’s suspension appeal, but Garoppolo must be ready to be the starter for the first quarter of the season. It’s time we got a little glimpse of the future.

Next: Jabaal Sheard