By the time the clock hit 0:00 in Thursday's preseason opener, the Patriots had themselves a quarterback controversy of sorts.
Not for the starting job, obviously, but the performances of Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo gave the Patriots plenty to think about. While Mallett struggled, Garoppolo took charge and led the team's only scoring drive.
"[Garoppolo] so far exceeded my expectations while Ryan Mallett kind of did a status quo Ryan Mallett preseason performance," says Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran.
For Curran, it was more about being impressed with Garoppolo than disappointed in Mallett.
"I didn’t think that Jimmy Garoppolo, coming from basically Division II football… was going to come in and have that kind of command, be able to have that kind of poise to throw with that kind of touch," says Curran.
In fact, there appeared to be a bit of role reversal.
"It seemed like [Mallett] was the rookie and Garoppolo had been in the system for a few years," says Kyle Draper.
Ultimately, Mallett missed a great opportunity to showcase his talents and he has no one to blame but himself.
"He put himself in those situations because he didn’t make the easy plays," says Curran.
If Garoppolo continues to play like he did against the Redskins, Mallett might find himself out of chances and out of a job.