Box Score Bank: 30 Years in the Making

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Box Score Bank: 30 Years in the Making

Over the weekend, the Tennessee Titans announced that second-year QB Jake Locker has beaten out Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job, and will make his first career start in Week 1 against the Pats.

Good for Jake. And good for Bill Belichick, who's no doubt foaming at the mouth over an opportunity to welcome a new QB to the NFL starting ranks.

It got me thinking: Who was the last quarterback to make his first career start against the Patriots in Week 1 of the NFL season?

I know, pretty random. But would you would rather read about the Sox?

So, I started going back through the seasons . . .

And going back . . . and back . . . and back, back, back before briefly morphing into Chris Berman and eventually finding our answer.

So, let's set the Box Score Bank for 30 years ago: September 12, 1982

E.T. was No. 1 at the box office (followed not-so-closely by Rocky III and Porky's). "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" by Chicago had briefly knocked the Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra" off the top of the Billboard charts. A week later, a man named Scott Fahlman invented emoticons. Three weeks later, Sony launched the first consumer compact disc. Bill Belichick was coaching linebackers and special teams for the Giants. Tom Brady had recently turned five.

And at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, rookie QB Mike Pagel was making his first career against the Patriots in Week 1 of the NFL season.

Final Score: Patriots 24, Colts 13

Pagel, a 22-year-old fourth round pick out of Arizona State, was no match for the Pats and defensive coordinator Jim Mora. Pagel finished the game 7-15 for 71 yards with an INT and a rushing TD, and was ultimately replaced behind center by Art Schlichter (who was eventually replaced by David Humm). Despite the Colts lack of quarterbacking, they actually led 13-10 in the third quarter before the Pats rattled off 14 straight points (a 30-yeard pass from Matt Cavanaugh to Ken Toler, and a one-yard run by Robert Wheathers) to run away with the win.

Pagel went on to have a 12-year NFL career with the Colts, Browns and Rams but never found much success. He retired in 1993 with a career record of 17-36-1.

According to Wikipedia, he now resides in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, and is a project manager for AT&T. He also serves as analyst for the pregame, halftime and postgame shows on during Browns games and offers television color commentary on college games on Fox Sports Network.

Your move, Jake Locker.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

More from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk here.

 

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

When trying to figure out what the Patriots will ultimately do with Jimmy Garoppolo, forget about the speculation and instead focus on the little things the team does. 

Like how they are tending to Jacoby Brissett. 

After having thumb surgery on Oct. 7, Brissett was put on IR. But the team used its one "Get off of IR free card" on Brissett and he's been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks while not taking up a roster spot. 

That alone isn't compelling evidence that he's the backup-in-waiting and Garoppolo's about to be packed up and shipped out, argued my compadre, Senator Phil Perry. The team had no other players on IR that they could use the designation on at the time. Why not use it on Brissett?

Prior to that, though, we've seen Brissett accompanying the team to away games including the cross-country junket to San Francisco. A reason? Since the Patriots played three straight at Gillette at the start of the season when Brissett was the direct backup to Garoppolo, he didn't get a good look at the road operation and the tempo of being the visiting team. How things work on flights, in meetings, at opposing stadiums and on the sidelines is worth getting a promising young players' eyes on. Also, getting his offensive teammates used to having him around is probably an even bigger benefit. It's not unprecedented to have IR players travel but its not conventional practice either. 

With so many quarterback-needy teams around the league, Garoppolo is perhaps the most attractive option out there. By the end of this year, he will have apprenticed three seasons behind the best quarterback of all-time in a sophisticated offense for a program that's as demanding as any in the league. In the 1 1/2 games he was able to play as a starter in place of Tom Brady, he was sensational.

He got hurt and that's not great. But any team making a deal for him that has concerns about his durability can take him for a spin for one season. Garoppolo is on the books for $825K in 2017 and then his contract is up. The team that dealt for him can franchise him if they need another season to think on it. 

I don't think the Patriots are itching to move Garoppolo. They know they are sitting comfortably with a stack of the most valuable commodity in the sport -- good quarterbacks (or at least one great one and two promising ones) - piled in front of them. They can let the game come to them. 

If it does, as former Patriots executive and Bill Belichick consigliere Mike Lombardi thinks it will, the Patriots can rest easy dealing Garoppolo knowing that they already did advance work getting Brissett up to speed.