We just can’t seem to catch a break these days.
First, Brady gets suspended for four games for Deflategate, then Garoppolo gets driven shoulder first into the football field and Gronkowski doesn’t play for two games. Then, we got to witness the unanticipated debut of 23-year-old third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Brissett doesn’t even have a photo of him in a Patriots uniform on his Wikipedia page yet.
Brissett took the first snap of his career at the Patriot’s home opener at Gillette Stadium after Garoppolo was hit hard in game two by Kiko Alonso of the Dolphins when the Pats were leading 24-0 According to ESPN statistics, before being driven into the turf on Sunday, Garoppolo completed 18-27 passes for a total of 234 yards and three touchdowns. It seemed that even in the event of an injured quarterback, with a lead like that, it would have been just fine, but Miami seemed to creep back into sight and the Pats went on to win the game 31-24, the most points the Patriots have allowed so far this season.
ESPN also said Brissett completed 6-9 of his passes for 92 yards, 66 percent of his passes, which percentage-wise is the same as Garoppolo in that specific game. We fast forward to Tuesday and Wednesday when we tried to decode Belichick’s comments on his starting line-up. Belichick is about as cryptic as they come when regarding starting line-ups. For example, when asked if Garoppolo would be ready to play for Thursday’s game, Belichick’s quick response was, “I’m not a doctor.”
Hey, to give him some credit, he really isn’t a doctor, so I agree with him there, but the anxiety of wondering who the “next man up” would be was apparent in my apartment.
Thursday rolled around and Brissett was listed as the starting quarterback for Thursday night versus the Texans.
Robert Gronkowski (Gronk) was listed as active before the game, but did not rack up any stats during his return. Naturally, I was feeling a little concerned about a guy only slightly older than myself making his first start as an NFL quarterback in front of close to 69,000 fans hooting and hollering in-house. The first quarter showed the rookie’s ability, when he rushed for 27 yards and led the Patriots to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter.
That was enough to convince me not to write this kid off just yet. The game continued and he completed only 11 of 19 passing attempts for just over 100 yards, just a little over 50 percent, so naturally, with stats like these, I was feeling a little uneasy. But the game marched on and the Pats led at the end of each quarter ,completing the shutout with a 27-0 win against the Houston Texans. Darren Rovell, avid statistic tweeter and ESPN business reporter, tweeted, “The last time the Houston Texans were shut out (12/7/03), Lebron James had played 20 games in his NBA career. To me, that tweet pretty much sums up the Patriots organization as a whole. As I mentioned in week one, Belichick is nothing shy of a football god and turns water into wine when it comes to his team.
As for the next game, we prepare for one more game without Tom Brady and hope we can blow past Rex Ryan and his 1-2 Buffalo Bills in anticipation for game five.
However, there has been news that Brissett may be questionable for game four and Garoppolo’s condition is unknown at this juncture. One saving grace is the fact that wide receiver Julian Edelman played quarterback at Kent State, where he attended college.
But hey, why worry when you’re an undefeated, 3-0 team and number one in the American Football Conference East?
All I know is that I can’t wait to see what this team has to offer us for the rest of the season.
Mary Curtin can be contacted at Mcurtin@kscequinox.com