New England Patriots: Is Garoppolo Ready to Replace Brady if Suspension is Upheld?


On July 29th, the New England Patriots’ training camp officially starts, and as of right now, Tom Brady will not be the starting quarterback for the Pats when the regular season opens on September 10th.

In fact, if his current suspension is upheld by Roger Goodell, then he won’t be playing in a Patriots uniform until New England takes on the Indianapolis Colts on October 18th. Therefore, it is time for fans to wonder who we will see under center when the regular season comes around.

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Right now the two other quarterbacks on the Patriots’ roster are Matt Flynn and Jimmy Garoppolo. One of those two quarterbacks will be given the extremely tough job of leading the defending Super Bowl champions for their first four games of the regular season.

It is assumed that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are going to make Jimmy Garoppolo the starter until Brady returns.

However, Matt Flynn is the more experienced NFL quarterback. He signed with the Patriots earlier this offseason, and has been in the league since 2008. Over his career he has had a 61.3 completion percentage, he’s thrown for 2,541 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Flynn also co-owns the Green Bay Packers’ franchise record for the most touchdown passes thrown in a single game (6) with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Farve.

Nov 16, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn (10) during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 53-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo has a very different background compared to Flynn. Garoppolo was drafted by the Patriots with the 30th pick in the second round of the 2014 draft. He played four years of college football with the Eastern Illinois Panthers, where he had a 62.8 completion percentage and threw for 13,156 yards with 118 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. He also used his feet to rush for 260 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Garoppolo has also thrown 27 passes during the regular season in the NFL for 182 yards and one touchdown.

While Matt Flynn may be more experienced and prepared to start for the Patriots, I believe that Belichick and the Patriots made the right decision by picking Garoppolo to start if Tom Brady is unavailable for week one.

Making Garoppolo the starter is the better decision because of the long-term effects the experience would have on him. Leading the defending Super Bowl champions in their first game of the regular season would be incredibly helpful for a young player like Garoppolo. It would also help the Patriots observe Garoppolo to see how he performs in a real regular season game and under pressure.

There is a possibility that the young quarterback won’t play well in this new situation, and that is where Matt Flynn is a helpful weapon to have in the arsenal. If Garoppolo is playing poorly, then the Patriots can take him out and put Matt Flynn, a more experienced quarterback, into the game to try and salvage a win.

The end goal for the Pats is to win as many games as possible until Brady is back on the field. However, if they can also help tutor Brady’s successor, then they will make the best out of this bad situation.