So... I guess we're hoping that Jacoby Brissett can handle the load? With a short week this week, I sincerely doubt that Garoppolo will be back. That injury did not look pleasant. If I had to guess, based on the way he went down and the way he was labouring, I would guess a separated shoulder. I only say this, having separated my shoulder on several occasions. Obviously I'm not a doctor, so we'll have to wait and see, but it certainly doesn't look good. (For the record, I'm writing this immediately following the game, so if the diagnosis comes out between me saving this and it getting published, and I'm wrong - I don't really care...)
I have no idea if we even see Jacoby on Thursday. There's a very good chance we make a trade to try and get a QB in the meantime. It's not ideal, but it looks like it might be necessary.
Anyway. Thoughts on week 2. Dolphins visiting the Patriots. Here we go.
Jimmy looked great. He was a stud until he got hurt. There was a point where I was thinking how nice it is to have a competent QB backing up Tom, and how he might be propelling himself into finding a starting QB position somewhere next season (not unlike Matt Cassel did when he took over for Tom when Brady went down with his knee injury.)
Jimmy was poised. With a front line of Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh, I was concerned that he would have his hands full and would be rushed a lot. But he looked great. He stood tall in the pocket, slipped through when he needed to, and was just a rock. Even the play where he was injured, he still looked composed. He was scrambling (which was what resulted in his injury) but he was still looking confident. And because he was confident, so was I. And then he went down, leaving all Patriots fans feeling the same way:
So okay. James got hurt. Our defence was still killing it. We went into the half up 24-3. No problem. So long as we can play the same defence we had in the first half, we'll be fine.
And then the second half started and things went downhill.
The only NFL game I've ever been to was 3 years ago in Foxboro. The Pats played the Dolphins and the first half was terrible. The Pats went into the locker room down 17-3 at the half. Then came back to win and it was amazing. (Here are the highlights if you want to see.) This was almost the same thing only opposite. With every drive in which Jacoby wasn't able to mount much (and really, I can't blame him; how many reps do you think he gets in practice? I would wager he wasn't expecting to ever be playing...) the Miami offence just kept piling it on. Somehow Tannehill came out all cylinders firing. And some great grabs from his receivers definitely helped. It just seemed like they found every hole in our defence and picked them apart. So the Dolphins kept coming, and our defence looked helpless. I'm guessing that as a result of how little the offence was on the field, that the defence was also tired.
To say it was stressful is definitely an understatement.
Being up 31-24, thankfully Jacoby was able to mount a drive and kill some time on the clock to put us into field goal range with a minute and change left on the clock. A 39-yard Gostkowski field goal with a buck left on the clock, putting the Dolphins 2 scores away, should be enough to end the game. Perfect.
Oh, what's that? Mr. Clutch missed? Well. Shit. Of course that would happen on this game. Between Jimmy going down, a ref hitting the turf being hurt and an improbably Miami comeback, sure Gostkowski would miss this field goal. Ughhhhhhhhhh.
At least the D had enough left in the tank to (barely) hold off the last drive from the Dolphins and take the Pats to 2-0.
•I don't love how many balls Edelman dropped today. I know he was catching balls from 2 different QBs and one that he's probably caught 6 passes from in practice, but some of those were gimmes. I feel like he could have had some of them. Not to take away from his performance. With Gronk out, Edelman is taking a bunch of the load on his shoulders and I appreciate how much he's been doing. I would just like to see him keep a few of those balls.
•Our defence is really suffering right now. We need Ninkovich back, but more importantly, Dont'a Hightower's injury sucks. I hope it's temporary.
•Blount quietly mounted a pretty great game today. Over 100 yards and the only touchdown scored for the Pats after Garoppolo went down was nice. I did see him drop the ball again, though. Thankfully it went right out of bounds, so it didn't matter, but that's two games in a row. I don't love that.
•Can Gronk please, please, please get healthy again? I feel like now, more than ever, he needs to come back.
We found a way to win. It wasn't pretty, and I'm sure Bill will have a lot to say to the team, but we found a way. There's a lot of work to be done over the next 4 days to get ready for a very impressive, and nasty Houston team. I don't love that it's a short week when we need to prep a new QB to replace our QB replacement, but that's the way the NFL goes, sometimes.
I don't know what's going to happen between now and Thursday, but I'm going to be slightly agitated all week, I think.
For the record, if we do decide to keep Jacoby as the starting QB for Thursday, he has a chance to redeem the name Jacoby in my eyes. Because the last Jacoby to play for a New England based sports team is dead to me.
Until Friday! (Assuming I'm able to watch the game on Thursday)