Sometimes I just can’t handle it. The overreactions. The pure stupidity. The insanity that comes with being a New England Patriots fan.
In 2016, with a team that has been in the AFC Championship five straight years, at some point, you have to just believe in the system. If you don’t believe in the Patriots’ system by now, then I’m not sure there’s anything else they could do to get you to buy in. Like it or not, “next man up” is a real thing. It works. As we’re seeing, even at the quarterback position.
I’m not here to tell you that Jacoby Brissett is the next Tom Brady. I’m not even here to tell you that he’ll have as much success as Jimmy Garoppolo did in the first six quarters of this season, before going down with a shoulder injury in Week 2. But instead of throwing out all of these outrageous ideas for the Patriots to acquire another QB, I think it’s best that everyone puts the mobile devices in a drawer and goes out for a nice long walk. Take a few deep breaths. Then come back and talk to me about what the Pats should do in the next two weeks.
As I write this, Garoppolo’s status is up in the air. That leaves Brissett as New England’s starting quarterback. Brissett entered Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins late in the first half, and finished the game 6-of-9 for 92 yards. He didn’t throw any touchdown passes, but he did help lead the Patriots down the field in their first possession of the second half, resulting in a LeGarrette Blount nine-yard touchdown run.
With the Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills on the schedule the next two weeks — both games at Gillette Stadium — it’s not really the nightmarish situation that some people have drawn up in their heads.
For starters - Garoppolo injury or not - Brady will be back in Week 5. And he’ll be reclaiming his role of starting quarterback. To think, as Garoppolo lit up the Dolphins before he got hurt on Sunday, there were people - actual humans with brains - who wanted to discuss the possibility of the Patriots trading Brady before he returned from his four-game Deflategate suspension.
Not to root for or applaud an injury, but with Garoppolo going down at least we don’t have listen to the “trade Brady” crowd the next few weeks. And just when you thought you didn’t have the energy to deal with that type of ridiculous conversation, Garoppolo’s injury actually led to NFL analysts — people with full-time jobs who have only one job: to analyze football — calling for the Patriots to bring in Peyton Manning until Brady returned in Week 5.
What planet am I on?
Back here on Earth, the next two weeks should be simple. If Garoppolo isn’t able to play, you start Brissett. The rookie is clearly talented, intelligent, and composed enough to not make the big mistakes and allow his defense and special teams to keep them in a game at home, against the Texans and Bills.
The Pats should also sign a veteran QB to back him up. But if a name like “Manning” pops into your head, you should just stop reading this. Because we’ll never be on the same page. I’m talking about a veteran QB who has made a living being a veteran backup. Nobody that will shock you. Just someone to step in, toss on the shoulder pads, and be ready just in case.
Worst-case scenario is the Patriots lose the next two games and are 2-2 by the time they give the ball back to Brady. Considering nobody else in the AFC East is going to run away with the division, that’s not the end of the world. In fact, if you had told me before the season that the Pats — even with a healthy Garoppolo — would be 2-2 entering Week 5 as Brady returns, I’d be just fine with that.
And if that’s how it actually ends up, so be it. Take the overreactions and the stupidity somewhere else.
Because the Patriots are going to be just fine.