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The Patriots season doesn't rest on the shoulders of Jimmy Garoppolo

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The whole world knows by now about the on-going deflategate saga between Tom Brady and Roger Goodell.

While everyone is focusing on that, a young back-up quarterback is preparing for something he has yet to do in the NFL, start a game to open the regular season.

Jimmy Garoppolo does not need to be perfect for the Pats though. Here are the four games Garoppolo would start if Tom Brady's suspension holds up. 


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Week 1: VS Pittsburgh
Week 2: @ Buffalo
Week 3: VS Jacksonville
Week 5: @ Dallas

The Patriots have a bye week in Week Four.

Realistically, Garoppolo only needs to win two of those four games because, let's face it, Brady is not going to lose once he comes back.

Julian Edelman was asked last week about the state of mind his quarterback is in with training camp two weeks away:

"He's a little fired up, we'll say that. You don't want a mad Tom Brady, and he's a little ticked off," Edelman said.

Once Brady returns in week Six, the rest of the NFL better be on top of their game when they see New England on the schedule. Here's the schedule Brady will face once he's eligible to play.

Week 6: @ Indianapolis
Week 7: VS Jets
Week 8: VS Miami
Week 9: VS Washington
Week 10: @ Giants
Week 11: VS Buffalo
Week 12: @ Denver
Week 13: VS Philadelphia
Week 14: @ Houston
Week 15: VS Tennessee
Week 16: @ Jets
Week 17 @ Miami

So, one game that might be the biggest test for the Patriots is Houston. They have one of the louder stadiums in the NFL and the formidable defense of JJ Watt, former Patriot Vince Wilfork, and a healthy Jadeveon Clowney, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.

The Patriots' one glaring weakness is their offensive line so they will need to be on top of things that day to protect their future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Other than that, you wouldn't bet against New England steam rolling their way right through the regular season and into the playoffs, and quite possibly wind up in San Francisco next February for Super Bowl 50.

Brady still on top

It's unlikely commissioner Roger Goodell will wipe out Brady's entire suspension but, even if Brady does miss four games, he is almost guaranteed to be one of the top quarterbacks in 2015.

According to ESPN, he is projected to throw for 3,366 yards and 24 touchdowns. All while missing four games.

That shows what kind of a player Brady is. An absolute workhorse, hoping to lead the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship. If Brady succeeds on his quest for that fifth ring, it will be hard not to say he's the best of all-time.

As for Garoppolo, as the late-great Raiders owner would say, "Just win baby".

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