The Deflategate saga is still rumbling on, with no end in sight for the controversy that has dominated NFL headlines over the off-season.
At the moment, Tom Brady is still banned for the first four games of the 2015 season, no matter how much the New England Patriots and NFLPA are fighting the suspension in a court in New York this week.
With Brady suspended, it leaves young and inexperienced quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under center, which is far from ideal. And now the QB is tempering expectations in Foxboro.
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Despite being the starter going in to the season, Garoppolo didn’t wind up taking the field first for the Patriots on Thursday night as Bill Belichick opted to give Brady seven snaps in their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Garoppolo played the rest of the way, though, in a performance that will be broken down more than most initial preseason outings because of the chance that he’ll be starting the season opener against the Steelers.
Unspectacular at Best
Garoppolo went 20-of-30 for 159 yards and an interception during an outing that saw him play better in the second half of the 22-11 loss, when he was 15-of-17, than he did in the first.
Patriots fans will be worried that Garoppolo didn't exactly hit the ground running, but the former Easter Illinois star has come out and said, via the Patriots official website, that there is still a long way for him and the team to go before the season starts at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“There were ups and downs,” Garoppolo said. “We’ve got a long way to go, obviously. Eleven points isn’t by any means good enough. There’s room for improvement.”
Garoppolo has got three more opportunities in pre-season to show that he can take the reigns and steady the ship in Brady's absence. If he doesn't then then the Patriots may regret releasing Matt Flynn.