After a 544 day rollercoaster ride, the deflategate story is now officially dead.
Goodbye and good riddance.
You have seen enough of my rants defending Brady’s innocence for the past 18 months, so I promise not to get into that throughout the duration of this blog. Instead, I want to look ahead and discuss why it might not necessarily be a bad thing that TB12 has to sit out the first four games of the season.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, I’m not inferring that having the greatest quarterback in NFL history riding the pine for a month is a good thing by any stretch of the imagination – but it might not be the worst thing ever.
Hear me out…
When Tom Brady ended the legal process against the NFL yesterday he put the team ahead of himself. Everybody is sick and tired of the story at this point and now the entire team knows what they are dealing with; survive the first four games with Jimmy Garoppolo and let the G.O.A.T. come back and torch anyone in his way. Aside from that, if Brady appealed to the Supreme Court and they decided in October or November that they weren’t going to hear the case (which they would have been crazy to do in the first place), then Brady would be forced to miss four games right in the middle of the season. That would have been an absolute nightmare. The schedule gets tougher as we go along, so having Brady miss the first four games against weaker teams is definitely the right team decision.
Another thing that has to be taken into consideration is the fact that Brady is going to be 39 years old on August 3rd. Even though Brady has showed absolutely no signs of slowing down it’s tough for a player of that age to continually go out there and take a beating week after week. By Brady missing the first four games, he gets a little bit of rest and starting week 5 he comes out of the gate completely fresh. Having those four weeks off to start the year could be huge for Brady to make a run at ring #5 come playoff time.
Let’s not forget that we are also talking about one of the fiercest competitors in all of sports. This whole railroad job by Goodell has TB12 salivating at his chance for revenge. Sitting out the first four games and not being able to help his team is going to eat away at Brady. He is going to come back and play like a mad man with his hair on fire. Look for Tommy to go on a tear for the rest of the season and put up video game numbers when he returns to action. (Oh and let’s all say a quick prayer for the Browns in week 5 because if they weren’t already cringe-worthy bad, having to face Brady in his first game back is a complete nightmare.)
Last but not least, all of New England gets to see what we have in Jimmy Garoppolo. The third year backup has created lots of buzz about his potential from some impressive showings in the preseason the past couple of years. He hasn’t had much regular season action, but when he has played he has been pretty crisp. His numbers are 21/30 for 188 yards, 1 touchdown and a 91 QB rating. It’s not a big sample size but if he can do that, be a game manager and “do his job” the first four games of the season, I definitely see the Patriots being just fine. A 3-1 record would not surprise me in the slightest, but even if the Patriots start poorly, they know how to recuperate and get back on track (i.e. the first four games of 2014).
Yes, not having Tom Brady isn’t ideal, but look at the weapons Jimmy G. has around him; Gronk, Bennett, Edelman, Amendola, Hogan, Lewis, and the list goes on and on.
Will Jimmy G. be able to hold down the fort until Brady gets back?
Only time will tell, but don’t be surprised to see Garoppolo light it up for four games before handing this back off to TB12.