by Robbie Congdon
The time has come: Tom Brady has stepped foot on the practice field for the first time in four weeks after serving a four game suspension for “deflategate.” The Patriots time without Brady was quite interesting, as it felt like they were in a completely different scenario every week.
In week 1, they went to Arizona with Jimmy Garoppolo as quarterback. The third year quarterback had a very strong showing during his first career start and led the Patriots to a big win. After this, people were starting to feel comfortable about the four weeks without Brady because the next three games on the schedule were much easier than week one.
Week 2 came along and the Patriots hosted the Miami Dolphins. Garoppolo was set to start again and the Pats were heavy favorites. The first quarter went the Patriots way with Garoppolo catching fire and tossing two touchdowns. He threw another early in the second quarter, then the tides turned. Garoppolo was hit hard, and landed awkwardly on his right shoulder forcing him to leave the game. Next on the depth chart was rookie Jacoby Brissett out of North Carolina State. He finished the game fine, but did not look nearly as good as Garoppolo.
Week 3 brought the Houston Texans to town for a Thursday night game. There were questions about who was going to start as quarterback for the Pats all week. Reporters said Wednesday that Garoppolo had an outside chance to play, but he did not end up suiting up, and Brissett took the start. The coaching staff drew up a simple game plan for him and he did his job. The defense really shined in this game and the Pats came out on top 27-0. www.patriots.com http://www.foxsports.com/nfl
In week 4, things were looking bright for the Pats as they had an easy home matchup against the Buffalo Bills and Garoppolo had a good chance to play. It was a 1 PM kickoff on Sunday, and Patriots fans received bad news that morning that Garoppolo was ruled out.
Brissett started the game, and he struggled early. The defense also came out looking pretty dead and let up 10 early points.This sluggish play continued throughout the whole game and the Patriots were shut out 16-0 for the first time since 2006.
Week 5 is when Brady is set to return and the Patriots will be in Cleveland to take on the Browns. They will be heavily favored in this matchup since Brady will certainly be fired up to make his season debut. Brady on coming back from suspension said, “I was motivated 17 years ago and I’m motivated today.” It is expected that the rest of the team will also be playing with lots of intensity as they are coming off of a very tough loss.