Recently, Field Yates of ESPN.com ranked the best backup quarterback situations in the NFL. Where did the New England Patriots rank?
After it was announced that Brady was going to be suspended for the first four games of the season last year, there was some panic in New England. With two unproven backups behind Brady, most expected the Patriots to split the first two games at best. In the first four games, the Patriots had to face two playoff teams from the previous year and also two division opponents. It wasn’t an easy draw for New England without Brady, but they survived.
First up for the Patriots to fill in for Brady was Jimmy Garoppolo. The former second round pick certainly had a lot of potential, but he was still an unknown. However, he helped lead the Patriots to victory on the road in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. Also, he was without Rob Gronkowski in that game.
The following week, Garoppolo and the Patriots were cruising to a win against the Miami Dolphins prior to Garoppolo getting injured. Jacoby Brissett was forced to come in to finish the game, which is not an easy thing to do for a third string quarterback.
With Brissett under center for the next two weeks, the Patriots were able to go 1-1 with a shutout win at home against the Houston Texans. Even though Brady is back, the Patriots decided to keep both quarterbacks for another season despite some rumors about Garoppolo possibly being traded this offseason. With both Brissett and Garoppolo back in 2017, Field Yates of ESPN.com recently ranked the Patriots with the best quarterback situation in the NFL. Here’s what he had to say.
"Although the sample on Jimmy Garoppolo is still small — he has attempted only 94 passes in his career — it’s clear that he is viewed across the league as a long-term starter in the NFL. His value to New England was shown through the Patriots’ decision not to trade him this offseason, despite ardent efforts from the Browns. Jacoby Brissett showed promise in two starts last season and won the respect of teammates and coaches through his toughness."
It is certainly hard to argue with the Patriots being ranked first in this category. Seeing how both Garoppolo and Brissett won games last season, they are both somewhat proven in the NFL.
Also, Garoppolo is arguably better than some other starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Since Brady will be 40-years-old to start the season, it is important for the Patriots to have some talented depth behind him in case something happens.