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New England Patriots: What if Jimmy Garoppolo exceeds expectations?

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The New England Patriots learned that Tom Brady will not pursue any more legal battles concerning his four-game suspension. That’s great news because it would’ve became a major distraction for all parties involved. So where does that leave the Patriots? It will leave them in the hands of a third-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who has not thrown more than 35 passes in his NFL career.

Should the Patriots be worried?

Both, yes and no.

Yes because he has thrown only 31 passes in three seasons. If this were the Cleveland Browns or Tennessee Titans, then it would be “let’s see what he can do and we can evaluate him later.” However he plays for the Patriots who have only missed the playoffs five times since 1994. To say he is under pressure is an understatement.

What do the Patriots do, do they tank those games away?

It’s only four games, but a season can easily be lost in those four games. The Patriots open their season against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills. There is not an easy win between these four teams. The Cardinals and Texans are both playoff teams, while the Dolphins and Bills are division rivals. Both teams have improved since last year.

Bill Belichick is not a quitter and nether are the 52 other players on the roster. Yet, we have no idea who Garoppolo is. This is not college and this is not practice.

He will face Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Darrelle Revis, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Patrick Patterson in his starts. Hell, those are tough odds even for Brady.

But what if, what if he shines? What if Garoppolo manages to lead the Pats to a 4-0 record while Brady is out?

Anything is possible, right?

What if by the end of Week 4, Garoppolo is leading the league in passing yards and TDs and the team is steamrolling the competition, what does Belichick do then? Does he throw Brady in and mess up the team’s chemistry or let Garoppolo ride it out?

This is Brady we are talking about, but we have seen it before. I’m not comparing Brady to Colin Kaepernick, but it’s possible Brady can become the next Alex Smith or Brady can face what has eluded him for so long, karma. Remember when Drew Bledsoe went down in 2001 and Brady took the reigns? It can happen again, never say never.

Belichick and Garoppolo are in tough situation for a few more months as the media attention will be sky-high as everyone will want a look at the guy replacing number 12. He will have the same weapons that helped Brady pass for 4770 yards and 36 TDs, so we know he has the weapons to get it done. It’s just a matter of execution and what better person to learn from than Brady himself over the last two seasons.

It may not happen, but it can happen. As much as we will be watching, Brady will be doing the same and he might want to reach out to Bledsoe to mend some fences.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com