As it sits now, Tom Brady will miss the first 4 games of the regular season. That means that back-up Jimmy Garoppolo will start those 4 games in Brady’s place. The federal appeal is slated to be completed prior to the season, but that might just be wishful thinking. We will probably see Garoppolo at some point this season.
Jimmy has received a lot of praise since he was drafted in the 2nd round last year. He had an up and down preseason as a rookie, but is poised for a break out season this year. Garoppolo impressed so much as a rookie that the Patriots traded away Ryan Mallett before the season started. Many scouts say that Jimmy’s release is the fastest they’ve seen since Dan Marino, even faster than Brady’s. A fast release, now coupled with a year under the Patriots system leads one to believe that Jimmy could easily take the reigns in Brady’s absence and produce.
I think that if Garoppolo has to start 4 games this season, his stats in those games will be better than every other QB in the AFC East. Jimmy’s stats will probably be inflated from the system that the Patriots will implement for him, but he will surprise some people. Remember, in 2008 Brady went down for the year and Matt Cassel led the team to an 11-5 record. Now Cassel is struggling in Buffalo and probably won’t make the Bills’ roster.
Jimmy probably has the weakest talent pool around him, outside of Gronk. The Dolphins, Bills and Jets are all stacked on paper, but c’mon, only the Dolphins have anything close to a competent QB. The Bills have a crap O-line, which will hurt McCoy and subsequently the entire offense and Geno Smith was voted the worst QB in the league…again. Tannehill has a powerhouse offense on paper, but there’s a lot of turnover in Miami, almost every position player is new, and we know you can’t build a successful team solely through free agency.
Mark my words, Garoppolo will impress people this year, almost every receiver (outside of Tim Wright) is returning this year. Another year working together will do some good, while Tannehill will have a learning curve with all of his new team mates.