Breaking Down Jimmy Garoppolo’s Performance vs Saints

Patriots fans that were hoping to see a much improved Jimmy Garoppolo last Thursday night were left disappointed.

Garoppolo started off against the Saints looking like a similar version of himself from a year ago.

For a great understanding of how Garoppolo has faired in the past here’s is an extensive read on it by Cian Fahey: http://presnapreads.com/2016/07/13/what-does-jimmy-garoppolo-offer-the-new-england-patriots/.

Fahey’s overall analysis of Garoppolo last preseason is that he failed to consistently throw accurately downfield and struggled significantly handling pressure, both things we saw a bit of on Thursday night.

Having said that, as the game progressed into the second quarter we saw Garoppolo get more comfortable, and make some plays he might not have a year ago.

Here’s Garoppolo’s first completion of the night, an easy dump off to Martellus Bennett. Bennett beats linebacker Stephone Anthony to the sideline, but the pass is thrown behind him. Bennett adjusts to make the catch, but Garoppolo costs him a YAC opportunity.

One fatal flaw Fahey noted was that Garoppolo was terrible when under pressure. Here, Garoppolo doesn’t feel Edebali coming and takes a sack on third down. Garoppolo has to feel that pressure coming, and get rid of the ball. It also looked like he might have been able to move up and to the left to escape the pressure.

Once again Garoppolo misses his spot on the throw down the sideline. Saints safety Kenny Vacarro has good coverage on the play, but the pass should be high and to the outside to give Bennett the best chance to catch it. Instead, Garoppolo forces Bennett to come back to the ball giving him little chance.

James White could have came out of his route a bit better, but this ball is thrown in the dirt. Better job by Garoppolo feeling the pressure coming, but needs to be a better throw.

One thing that stood out in this game is that Garoppolo made the Saints pay when they didn’t get pressure. That’s true for most NFL quarterbacks, but Garoppolo has struggled in the past with accuracy and decision making even with good protection.

This looks like an easy throw that any NFL quarterback should be able to make, but the Patriots love this route and Garoppolo threw it with ease on Thursday night.

The throw of the game for Jimmy. Looks right, comes back to Mitchell, and drops a dime in the bucket. Note the good protection, but Garoppolo has struggled mightily in the past with touch throws.

Garoppolo’s worst decision of the night came after he seemed to have found his groove. You see a lot of this in Fahey’s piece.

Garoppolo’s final throw of the game is a good one. Much better placement on the pass than the earlier jump ball to Martellus Bennett. Stupar makes a great play, but James White should have had this in truth.

The first start of the preseason for Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t a complete failure.

He looked shaky at times and resorted back to some of his old bad habits, but there were signs of improvement from a year ago.