Listen in on the following New England Patriots conversation between Musket Fire editor Connor Fulton and site veteran Hal Bent.
Hal Bent: I’ll start by saying this is the most entertaining Patriots season since 2001. The Tom Brady suspension—from an entertainment perspective—has made these first four games of the season…”exciting”. Other than a couple of rough stretches (2002, 2008, 2009, early 2014) there have been few times when it seemed like 10-14 wins was not a sure thing in New England. Other than Matt Cassel at the helm in 2008, it was almost impossible to picture the Patriots with someone other than No. 12 behind center.
Speaking of the two quarterbacks filling in for Brady, who has impressed you more? Jimmy Garoppolo—with two years of apprenticeship to learn the offense looking Brady-esque on the field—or Jacoby Brissett—with two GAMES of apprenticeship and a three day week to step in and lead the team to victory over an undefeated Houston Texans team?
Connor Fulton: It’s such a close call because both young quarterbacks have been so good in their respective starts, but I have to go with Brissett.
The sheer magnitude of the Patriots’ dominance against a very good Texans team gives him the edge over Garoppolo. For one thing, Garoppolo had months to train with the starters in preparation for his starts; Brissett, on the other hand, essentially had to get caught up to speed in a matter of hours. He wasn’t a fantasy football stud by any means, but he played mistake-free football in Week 3 and that’s all that mattered.
One man who has assisted both Garoppolo and Brissett immensely is running back LeGarrette Blount, who actually leads the NFL with 298 rushing yards through three games. Do you see Blount reaching the 1,600 rushing yards he’s currently on pace for, or do you think his role will diminish when Brady returns?
Next: Hal answers