by Justin McKinney, Staff Writer
This is what Bill Belichick does.
In 2008, Belichick led a Brady-less Patriots team with a very underwhelming defense to an 11-5 season.
Eight years later, we saw Belichick without Brady again, however this Sunday we saw a mean defense that was constantly pressuring Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer.
To add to that we saw a quarterback that seemed so much more in-tune with the Pats offense than Matt Cassel ever was in ’08. That man was Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo was held to a 106.1 quarterback-rating, he ran for first downs, he stood in the pocket and took hits like a seasoned veteran. He connected with Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman similarly to Tom Brady and by god, he made Chris Hogan look like an All-Pro with that first quarter possession.
It’s also worth mentioning that Martellus Bennet looked like a god when blocking and despite the fact he had less than twenty receiving yards, I think he was the pick up the Pats needed along the offensive line.
I think what we all saw tonight was simple: the Patriots are the best coached team in the NFL. From Belichick, to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, to defensive coordinator Pat Patricia, the coaching staff knew exactly how to beat the Cards and put the Pats in the best position to win this game.
I have been watching pro football since I was nine and this had to be the greatest coached game I have ever seen. The Patriots were nine point underdogs and missing their top tight end in Rob Gronkowski and QB in Tom Brady. The coaching staff, however, said we will not be defeated and managed to put this team in position to not only win, but control the game.
This game has set the tone for the rest of the season, with this being easily the toughest game on the schedule of the first four games without Tom Brady. Brady is poised to come back with a hell fire under his ass come week four, and I think this team can go far.
We have a group of players that were lacking their biggest offensive weapons in Gronk and Brady, and still won. I still cannot believe it. The defense delivered in ways I haven’t seen since the last time the Patriots played in Arizona, A.K.A Super Bowl 49 when Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson to give the Patriots their first Super Bowl win in ten years.
If Garoppolo can keep up this type of play for the next three weeks, I think that the undefeated season Pats Nation was robbed of in 2007 is beyond attainable. You’d have to be insane to think that Brady wouldn’t come back as the most driven man on the planet come week five.
I love seeing the Pats be this good without Brady and Gronk because it makes you wonder; what would have happened if we had our two best offensive weapons? Would the Cards even have been in that game at all? I say no and I think we are in for a hell of a year with this Pats team and I can’t wait to keep on covering them.