Tom Brady will serve a four-game suspension to start the 2016 regular season, and that has been all but decided finally unless Brady's camp receives a Hail Mary from the supreme court. After 18 months of this deflated ball situation, I am all worn out and could care less at this point whether or not Brady is suspended.
Of course as a Patriots fan I want Brady to be on the field week one. Those who are saying that it is better to have Jimmy Garoppolo for the first four games because Belichick uses the first month as a continuation of the preseason, and you want to see what you have with Garoppolo, frankly are trying too hard to search for a silver lining.
Each week in an NFL season is pivotal to the overall success of the season. This is not baseball where you play 162-games, you are only guaranteed 16 and one misstep can cost you home field and then end up costing you a chance at a championship. All Patriots fans saw last season what one game or one mistake can do to your season. File this under most obvious sports hot takes, but the Patriots have a better chance of winning when Tom Brady is starting at quarterback as opposed to Jimmy Garoppolo.
That does not mean that the Patriots are in serious trouble with Jimmy Garoppolo starting the first quarter of the regular season. Actually, I think it is quite the opposite. Anything less than a 3-1 record is a major disappointment. Garoppolo will be working with three solid receivers, two dynamic tight ends, the return of Dion Lewis, and the defense behind him is oozing with young talented players that are heading into the prime of their careers.
Furthermore, the Patriots schedule is not a cake walk, but three of the four games are at Gillette Stadium where the Patriots are 26-2 over the last three seasons. The first week of the season in Arizona was going to be a tough one whether Tom Brady played or not. I had it penciled in as a loss with Brady because of the cross-country trip, and that insanely quick and drugged up front seven. Let them use 24-year old Jimmy Garoppolo as a tackling dummy as opposed to the soon-to-be 39-year old Brady.
The next week the Patriots have Miami in Foxborough, where the Patriots have, for lack of a better term, owned the Dolphins over the past few seasons. They don't just beat them but they beat them by scores of 36-7, 41-13, 27-17, and 28-0 over the past four years. The secondary of the Dolphins is as thin as it gets, and Garoppolo should be feeding Edelman, Amendola, and Lewis in the short passing game all day long. In addition, Olivier Vernon is now playing for the Giants and they have a great lack of speed at linebacker.
Four days later the Patriots will host the Houston Texans. That is a far trip for an out of division opponent to travel in just four days. Obviously the Houston coaching staff knows the Patriots system well, but nevertheless coming out of Foxborough with a victory will be a tall task for a team who got beat by the Patriots in their own house last December by a score of 27-6.
The next week, the Patriots host Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. No matter how good the Patriots are and no matter how bad Rex Ryan's teams are, the match ups always end up coming down to the wire. However, usually the Patriots come out on top.
Plain and simple, if the Patriots go 3-1 like they should, it will be because of the amount of talent on their roster. Obviously Tom Brady is the face of the franchise and the most notable athlete probably in the country, but what many fail to realize is that the Patriots players 2-53 are also very talented, and they also have the best coach in the league. That is why anything less than 3-1 barring injury, is a failure on Bill Belichick's part and a failure on Jimmy Garoppolo's part.