NFL

National Football League: Evaluating The New England Patriots’ Quarterback Situation


Written by: Alex McKinnon– Staff Writing Intern (@1ReturnOfTheMac)

It was announced Monday that rookie QB Jacoby Brissett will take the reigns Thursday as the New England Patriots host the Houston Texans for Thursday Night Football. Brissett, 23, replaced Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday after he went down with a shoulder injury and went 6-for-9 for 92 yards passing. With this announcement and lack of news about a Quarterback being brought in for evaluation in Foxboro, 8th year veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman becomes the default #2 on the QB depth chart. Edelman was a Quarterback during his time at Kent State but did most of his damage in the running game and only threw for 4997 yards during his time as a Golden Flash.

Jacoby Brissett steps into the void left by the injured Garoppolo and suspended Tom Brady as a 3rd-Round Pick out of NC State. Brissett will join Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson as former Wolfpack to start this week on the NFL slate. Also, Brissett will become the first black Quarterback to ever start for the New England Patriots.

The loss of stop-gap Jimmy Garoppolo was a blow to the Patriots in the short-term as he was off to a phenomenal start. Before he exited the game in the 2nd quarter, he had thrown for 234 yards and 3 TD’s and could have had a ridiculous encore after his win over the Cardinals. Garoppolo has been the best Quarterback this season on third down, boasting a nearly perfect 154.2 passer rating through the first two weeks. He also added a particular wrinkle to the Patriots pocket, his mobility. Over the years, Patriots fans have loved Tom Brady’s rare moments where he would escape the pocket and run for positive yardage and found his 30 yard reception last season amusing…

 

… but ‘Jimmy G’ brought a legitimate threat of movement from the pocket. Before we move on, Garoppolo has not only impressed skeptical Patriots fans. There is a steady chatter that Garoppolo has drastically improved his value. Garoppolo, 24, has one year remaining on his rookie contract worth roughly $1,108,513 against the cap next season. He should quickly be a hot commodity around the NFL for either a mid-season trade or, more likely, a pre-draft acquisition come next April. Despite his lack of controllability, Garoppolo will provide a similar situation as the Eagles and Vikings. Sam Bradford is currently on a one-year deal but has impressed the Vikings fans and should help his value this upcoming offseason. Bradford’s rate of return for the Eagles was a 1st round pick and a 4th rounder. With that being said, a similar package if not more lucrative could be in store for the Patriots before next year’s draft. Lastly, reports out of Foxboro are suggesting Garoppolo has an outside shot of returning for Week 4 against the Bills. If this is the case, it comes as a huge break for the Patriots and instantly makes it another showcase for Jimmy.

Back to Brissett. Jacoby spent two years at the University of Florida and two at NC State. His two years with Florida saw him as a backup with only 74 pass attempts. Here are his lines from Year 3 and 4 with NC State.

                            

                             CMP   ATT    AVG      YDS     Y/A   TD    INT    RTG     RSH   YDS   Y/C   TD
2014
NC State
221
370
59.7
2,606
7.0
23
5
136.7
124
529
4.3
3
2015
NC State
237
395
60.0
2,662
6.7
20
6
130.3
139
370
2.7
6

 

His size and speed is an interesting combination that will be a disposable tool for Coach Belichick come Thursday at 6-4, 235. He is very mobile and is unafraid to throw in tight spaces. His over-the-top delivery, despite have very long arms, causes the ball to eat dirt quite often and seems to panic under pressure. Again, his mobility will be a strong ally against a very dangerous front 4 lead by J.J. Watt. An interesting statistic that came out of the Sunday win over Miami; LeGarrette Blount ran the ball 10 times for 21 yards (2.1 yards per carry) with Garoppolo and 19 times for 102 yards (5.37 yards per carry) under Brissett. Blount will be a giant factor in the TNF matchup against a tough defense and needs to step up. There is no clear sign of why Blount started producing when Brissett came in but maybe he is regaining his ability to perform under pressure with a perfect example coming in the 4th quarter…

 

 

From a DFS perspective, Brissett is an interesting option in the Thursday leagues as he is, of course, only $5000. The ball may be in Blount and White’s hands the majority of the game, he still has a strong ability to run and has a rocket arm. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to pair Brissett and Bennett together.

Tom Brady returns in Week 5 to reclaim his thrown. If the Patriots are able to hold on and deliver him a 4-0 record, it is almost a lock that the Patriots reclaim the 1-seed. Brady, 39, is coming off his best season since 2011 and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It would be hard to imagine that Tom doing anything other than trying to throw a hundred touchdowns per game as revenge to the league that has wronged him. But for now, it is time for the young guys to have a legitimate chance of showing off their talent in the 4 week try out. The Patriots will be a Vegas Dog at home for only the 3rd time since 2005 as they currently sit at +2.5 vs. the Texans. Did Vegas not learn anything from the Cardinals game? I guess we’ll find out come Thursday night at 8:25.

 

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