Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to start for the Patriots’ opening day squad in place of quarterback Tom Brady due to Brady’s four game suspension in Deflategate. Garoppolo will face the Steelers in Week 1, the Bills in Week 2, and the Jaguars and Cowboys in Weeks 3 and 5, respectively. Before Brady returns to the lineup in Week 6, Garoppolo has a chance to show his skill set and the NFL will get a chance to evaluate him to see if he’s a viable candidate as successor for the Patriots organization once Brady retires. In this breakdown we will look back at some of Garoppolo’s plays versus the Bills in Week 17 after Garoppolo took over for Tom Brady in the second half.
Garoppolo – 10/17, 90 yards, 5.3 ypa, 4 rushes for 16 yards, 3 sacks for 19 yards
When Garoppolo entered the game, the Patriots were already trailing 17-6 versus the Bill’s second ranked defense by DVOA. Let’s take a look at some plays:
Situation: 1st and 10 at NE 20
Description: Q3 – (15:00) NE 10-Garoppolo now at QB. (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass short left to D.Amendola pushed ob at NE 25 for 5 yards (D.Searcy).
To start the 2nd half the Patriots run the same slant-flat concept that Josh McDaniels and the Patriots ran in the Super Bowl. For a complete breakdown of this play in depth with its history too: Click here.
Pre-snap Garoppolo reads the slot defender as his first read. Seeing that he’s playing off-man coverage over Amendola it’s an easy read for Garoppolo once the outside WR drags the outside defender away from the sideline for an easy completion. The Patriots run the same slant-flat concept in Play 18 as well seen here:
Situation: 2nd and 5 at NE 25
Description: Q3 – (14:40) J.Garoppolo sacked at NE 22 for -3 yards (J.Wynn).
DE92 Wynn lines up in the 4-tech and rushes the B-gap. RG62 Wendell steps up to block him, but Wynn pulls him down with a mighty bull-jerk move that allows him into the backfield. Garoppolo feels the pressure and attempts to escape the pocket, but Wynn pulls him down for a sack. Really nothing he could have done here.
Situation: 3rd and 8 at NE 22
Description: Q3 – (13:51) (Shotgun) J.Garoppolo pass incomplete short right to T.Wright.
Garoppolo is in Shotgun Twin Stacks Right and the Bills bring five pass rushers. Wynn breaks through the B-gap on a missed blocking assignment between RG62 Wendall and RT76 Vollmer. In this play, Garoppolo shows good awareness to escape the pocket. DE94 Williams does a great job of covering TE81 Wright trying to get open for his scrambling quarterback. Williams does a good job of breaking up the pass, but Garoppolo needs to lob the ball higher to give Wright a chance at the reception.