Breaking Down Jimmy Garoppolo’s Performance vs Cardinals

For the first time since 2002 the Patriots had a different Week 1 starting quarterback.

Tom Brady had made 14 consecutive starts in Week 1, tied for the fourth longest streak in NFL history trailing only Favre, Tarkenton, and Elway.

Brady’s replacement, Jimmy Garoppolo, helped the team to an impressive road win against a final four team from a year ago.

Here are some of the up’s and down’s from Garoppolo’s first career start:

Garoppolo started off well getting the Patriots on the board first. The Patriots motion Bennett from right to left right before the snap. This tips off Garoppolo as he recognizes the man coverage, and sees Hogan with one-on-one coverage on the bottom of the screen. Garoppolo checks to the go route for Hogan and makes a nice pass in stride for the touchdown. It’s a busted coverage by the Cardinals, but still a good job by Jimmy to change the play at the line.

The first mistake of the game for Garoppolo. He doesn’t anticipate Branch breaking on the route and almost throws an interception that would have for sure been a touchdown the other way.

The second near interception didn’t come long after the first. Here, Garoppolo is better off taking a sack instead of trying to get rid of the ball. The pressure does come quickly, but Jimmy throws this one right into the hands of Calais Campbell.

One advantage Garoppolo has over Tom Brady is his scrambling ability. There’s nobody open down field as the pocket is collapsing, so Garoppolo takes it himself for the first down.

Malcolm Mitchell seemed to have a connection with Garoppolo in the first preseason game, and it commenced in the first game of the regular season. This is a bit of a dangerous throw by Garoppolo, but you like to see him put some zip on the ball and get it there before the defender. These types of throws often illustrate if a quarterback has the arm strength necessary to start in the NFL. Mitchell makes a great move after the catch to set up a touchdown.

The play of the game for the Patriots and Garoppolo on the drive to set up the game winning field goal. In fact, this might just be Garoppolo’s best play of his young career. He fakes the screen to Edelman and then goes through his progressions in the pocket. The pocket begins to break down so he moves just enough to his left to buy some more time. Amendola uncovers downfield and Garoppolo is on the money with the pass. Garoppolo’s composure on this drive to lead the offense down the field for the win was great to see.