Could the Patriots go on the road up against one of the best teams in the AFC without their unjustly-suspended star quarterback (subbed by a guy who has seen little regular-season action in his career), injured All-World tight end, two stalwarts of the offensive line, and various bumps and bruises?
Jimmy Garoppolo didn't wilt under the bright lights. He did make some mistakes, but that's to be expected. Nothing boneheaded, anyway, and while the secondary got burned by Larry Fitzgerald, the guy's a Hall-of-Famer.
Otherwise the offense moved efficiently and Jimmy G. was very comfortable with Julian Edelman to start as his primary receiver. He did spread the ball around and threw for a TD. He even caught his own ball! Ha! Guess Giselle was wrong ("My husband cannot throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time!"). ;)
The Pats were dominant in the first half but the Cardinals woke up in the second half and came close to winning the game. Not easy-peasy but still showcased Coach Bill Belichick's preparation skills and that of his staff. It also spotlighted the skill of the players as they executed the game plan.
Jimmy G. will probably have his ups-and-downs. The more film there is on a newbie, the more likely that opposing defensive coaches can find a way to slow him down or even stop him. Guys like Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III were the Next Big Thing, but they've flamed out. Kaepernick is better known now for sitting down while the national anthem plays and RGIII lasted one game before being put on IR for the season.
The pundits were almost universal in picking the Cardinals to win. So much for punditry! :)
Tom watched the game from his couch and congratulated Jimmy and the team on the win. Giselle posted a photo of Tom throwing her the football in their backyard. It's a Brady World! :)
Everyone in the AFC East Division except for the Pats lost yesterday. Guess that opportunity to grab the division crown from the Pats is hit a speed bump. :)
AFC East Division: