Is Tom Brady jealous of Jimmy Garoppolo?
It’s a fair question. After all, Jimmy G is – without question – the best looking quarterback in football. And after all, in his first career NFL start Jimmy G won a road game against a playoff-level NFC team. Brady hasn’t beaten an NFC playoff team on the road since 2010.
Garoppolo’s performance Sunday night cannot be understated. He was brilliant in the Patriots’ 23-21 upset win over the Cardinals, an NFC finalist last season. He did not throw an interception, he did throw a touchdown (a perfectly thrown ball down the near sideline to Chris Hogan) and he converted 7-of-10 third downs in which he threw the ball. He even ran around a bit and gained 12 yards rushing. That part, at least, was un-Brady-like.
Last Friday, the guys on ESPN’s “PTI” threw this question out there: “Will Tom Brady be rooting for Jimmy Garoppolo?”
Again, fair question. It’s human nature to be wary of someone who owns the capabilities to steal your job.
Now, Brady is - in my opinion - the greatest quarterback of all-time. But it’s more than fair to ask whether or not Brady will be great at the age of 39. Remember, no quarterback has ever been “Brady-great” past the age of 35 – let alone hovering around 40.
Meanwhile, Bill Belichick has gained a reputation over the years of being the most ruthless mind in football. He might not be able to draft a deep threat wide receiver, but absolutely no one cuts bait at the right time better than Belichick. Hell, look at the game Darrelle Revis turned in Sunday for the Jets (the Bengals’ AJ Green torched Revis with a 12-catch, 180-yard day). Just 16 months ago, people were pleading with Belichick to pay Revis the big bucks. Belichick refused, and the Jets are already getting burned.
I’ve always held the belief that the Brady – Belichick era in Foxboro will end as abruptly as it started. Can’t you just see Belichick retiring in the middle of March one year, without warning, and without a farewell press conference? It’s just as possible that Belichick trades Brady to the 49ers in the middle of March when most Boston fans think he has a good three or four years left.
That said, the good money says that Garoppolo and Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will join forces and head to a team like Buffalo next season. It’s much more difficult to imagine that Garoppolo and McDaniels will be running the Patriots by 2020.
Still, all these scenarios are now in play thanks to a perfect storm of Deflategate, Brady’s age, Belichick’s age and Garoppolo’s terrific performance Monday night.
There is no quarterback controversy in Foxboro right now. That would be ridiculous considering Garoppolo has one game under his belt and Brady’s played 225 career games.
But it’s more than fair to start asking these longterm questions.
The answers are far too important not to.