Yes, that headline is not wrong. Seriously, people counted out Bill Belichick and The New England Patriots.
Not one ESPN expert picked the Patriots, the most successful team in the NFL for the last 15 years.
No Brady. No Gronk. No Solder. No Ninkovich. No Lewis. No Vollmer.
Still had Marcus Cannon though!
But we still had the greatest coach to ever live, Bill Belichick, on the sideline. Jimmy Garopollo dazzled, Julian Edelman proved his foot injury is firmly in the past, Dante Scarnecchia pieced together an offensive line of trash cans and still found a way to make it work, while the defense simply did their job.
Now, how bout Legarrette Blount truck sticking his way through what seemed like 46 Cardinal defenders and finding a way to cross the goal line for a touchdown. Still don’t think he’s all that good and his mediocre day of 20 carries for 70 yards with a TD is about the best I expect to see out of Blount this season. Well, at least until the Colts come to town and get stomped on again.
The star of the night was without a doubt
Marcus Cannon Jimmy Garoppolo. Going 24/33 with 264 yards and a Touchdown coming on a beautiful pass to former Buffalo Bill, Chris Hogan. Hogan was wide open due to a miscommunication from the Cardinals defense but at first glance it looked like Bill snuck Tom Brady onto the field with a #10 jersey. It was a dime.
I doubted Garoppolo coming into this game. Starting what was basically your first meaningful game of your career against a Super Bowl contender on the road with a gazillion key players missing is no easy task. Seems like nobody told that to Jimmy. With a win in what may have been the most difficult game on the schedule, the Patriots very well could go 4-0 without
Jesus Tom Brady. An envious Brady coming back is bad news for the rest of the league. Not only is he envious, but he’s rested, ready, and has Tom Brady Jr. sitting right behind him waiting for his chance to come again. He’s got a lot reasons to be motivated.
Looking up and down the Pats schedule, I mean, what game really scares you as a Patriots fan? I guess maybe Cincinnati in week 6? They just beat the Jets by a score of 23-22. Pittsburgh in week 7? Again, maybe? But after that win on Sunday night, the Patriots proved that no matter who is active and who isn’t, those playing are going to Do Their Job.
by Mark Panzini