Garoppolo impresses, Mallett disappoints in opener

Garoppolo impresses, Mallett disappoints in opener
August 7, 2014, 11:15 pm
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Jimmy Garoppolo for MVP!

Too soon? Fine . . . but there's no denying that the Patriots rookie quarterback looked good in his NFL debut Thursday night.

The Patriots lost, 23-6, but Garoppolo was one of the rare bright spots in a game filled with mistakes.

He finished the game 9-13 for 157 yards and a touchdown, connecting with Brian Tyms late in the 4th quarter on a 24-yard strike down the left side.

The performance was a surprise to all who have watched him perform in training camp leading up to this point.

That includes CSNNE's Phil Perry, who joined Lou Merloni, Mike Felger, and Steve Buckley on Sports Tonight.

"That first drive that he had was better than any stretch of plays we saw in two weeks of training camp from him," Perry said. "He was quick, he was accurate, he wasn't afraid to throw the deep ball which is something I've criticized Ryan Mallet for in the past. Honest to God, a lot of the 11-on-11 situations that we saw from him, Brady would get his rips, Mallett would get his rips, Jimmy would get maybe one play, incomplete, switch it up, see you late. So we didn't even get to see a lot from him the last few days that they were down in Foxboro. Just a completely different player really from what I can tell tonight."

While Mallett didn't play bad, he didn't play particularly well either. It was Garoppolo who stood out in a game where some didn't think he'd factor in much at all.

"I don't think you expected really anything out of Jimmy Garoppolo, maybe a quarter," Merloni said. "He comes in there at halftime, and he looked more poised, he looked like he was able to get out of the pocket, he looked more decisive on throwing the football than Ryan Mallett did.

So it only took one game to have a backup quarterback controversy in New England, as the guys wonder if Mallett is now very expendable due to the fact Belichick isn't a fan of keeping three quarterbacks on the roster.