Garoppolo Sees First NFL Game Action, Impresses in Blowout loss to ChiefsSeptember 30, 2014 - Author: John-Mark and Chuck Mallory
Jimmy Garoppolo made his first appearance in an NFL regular season game during the New England Patriots 41-14 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. With about 8 minutes left in regulation Tom Brady threw his second interception of the game (the interception was returned for a touchdown). With the game out of reach at 41-7, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick made the decision to go with Garoppolo.
Garoppolo entered the game and drove the Patriots offense down the field for a touchdown. Garoppolo connected with all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski for a 13-yard touchdown pass, which was the first NFL touchdown of Garoppolo’s career. Although the game was out of reach when Garoppolo entered, he was able to play two series with the offense and perform very well. While the second series stalled because of a bad penalty by the Patriots, Garoppolo finished the game with six out of seven passes completed for 70 yards and a touchdown. It was a nice showing for the rookie from Eastern Illinois University.
“Obviously the first time, there’s obviously a bunch of learning experiences,” Garoppolo said. “Good experience in general to get that out of the way. We’ll go back, watch the tape, I’m sure there’s tons to learn from it.”
It was definitely not anticipated by Patriots’ fans that Garoppolo would see the field so soon in the season, but the offense hasn’t performed up to par and there has been a lot of criticism of Tom Brady. Through four games this season, Brady has only completed 43 percent of passes greater than five yards, which is second worst in the NFL behind Buffalo Bills QB E.J. Manuel. The Bills announced earlier this week that Manuel will be benched. The pass protection also hasn’t been there for Brady, who has already been sacked 10 times through four games. Clearly, the Patriots offense needs to step up, or Garoppolo could see more time in upcoming games.
There was also some buzz about Brady not congratulating Garoppolo when he came off the field after the Patriots touchdown drive, as other Patriots players and coaches gathered around him to show some love. However, this shouldn’t be seen as a big deal because Brady often spends time by himself on the sideline, especially during losing games. During the postgame press conference, a reporter even asked Belichick if he would “Evaluate the quarterback position”. The coach snickered to himself and shook his head to indicate “No”, a clear sign that Brady’s job isn’t in danger. It seems Garoppolo knows his role on the team too.
“I’m a relief pitcher, pretty much, so that’s my job,” Garoppolo said. “Go out there and put plays together. That’s all you can do at that point.”
Garoppolo may be a relief pitcher for now, but with the Patriots struggling mightily, he may be playing in more games this season. Keep checking jimmygaroppolo.net for more news and updates!
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