Tonight, we will see something incredibly rare: the New England Patriots starting a rookie quarterback who could change the post-Tom Brady story. Because of Jacoby Brissett, this is going to be the most interesting Patriots game so far this decade.
Unlike the start of Jacoby Brissett tonight, the prospect of Jimmy Garoppolo starting in Week 1 was something Patriots fans had months in advance to prepare for. Additionally, Garoppolo has been on the roster since the 2014 season, so the New England fan base had gotten to know the Eastern Illinois product.
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But tonight we are going to see something we didn’t expect or have much time to think about.
Brissett starting in Week 3 marks the first time in 23 years that the Patriots will start a rookie quarterback. That fact alone makes this the most fascinating Patriots game of this decade.
Why so interesting? Well, Brissett has a chance to force himself into the post-Tom Brady era conversation with a big performance tonight.
Here’s the thing: Garoppolo may look really good, but there are a few things standing in-between him and the post-Brady starting quarterback job in New England:
- Other teams are going to dangle a bunch of money in front of Garoppolo after his contract runs out in 2018
- Brady may want to, and be fully capable of, playing after Garoppolo’s contract expires
- Garoppolo appears to be a bit injury-prone, much like fellow Eastern Illinois product Tony Romo; the Patriots may want to take a more durable quarterback into the future
If Brissett plays well tonight, it will introduce the topic of Brissett pushing out Garoppolo into the post-Brady conversation. The Patriots truly have a wealth of riches at the most essential position.
That this subject could gain yet another layer of intrigue is what makes tonight’s game the most interesting regular season contest of the decade so far.
Additionally, the basic fact that we are about to watch a very talented Patriots team take the field with a rookie quarterback at the helm is fascinating enough. It will be cool to watch how Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels strategize with Brissett facing such a threatening defense.
More than anything, it will be fun to see how the Patriots as a whole surround and support Brissett as he takes on this massive challenge. Let’s wish the North Carolina State rookie the best in his endeavor.
As always, keep your eyes peeled here on Musket Fire as we bring your rapid reaction after the game and fresh points of analysis in the following hours and days.