By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
The story still hangs over Boston like an end zone fade, the quarterbacks of yesterday and tomorrow on a crash course for Miami. The San Francisco 49ers are still unbeaten. Jimmy Garoppolo is now 16-2 in his career. And Tom Brady is 42 going on LIV.
Somewhere, Bill Belichick is smiling.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, folks: the rest of America really doesn’t care, but screw `em. Thanks to Thursday night’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers and the Patriots both sit at a perfect 8-0 this season. The Pats play Sunday night in Baltimore. And if you claim that you haven’t kept an eye on Garoppolo this season as the Pats have made their systematic march through the AFC, well … you’re lying.
But in the event you’re stubborn, we’re doing it for you.
With last night’s effort – he went 27-of-38 for 317 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 136.9 – Garoppolo improved his pro record as a starter to a sterling 16-2. Garoppolo is 14-2 in his career as a starter with the San Francisco 49ers, which is to suggest he’s 14-2 playing for someone other than Bill Belichick.
Does that mean the Patriots erred in trading away the man whom many (including Belichick) deemed Brady’s successor? No. Garoppolo still comes with lots of questions, durability first among them. But if there’s anyone out there still suggesting that Garoppolo was some sort of flash in the pan … stop. Don’t embarrass yourself. He can play. Whether he can stay healthy and fulfill his potential is an entirely different argument.
As for Brady, the Patriots have gotten more from their quarterback than anyone could have possibly predicted – and in the last six years alone. Since Garoppolo was drafted in 2014, Brady has gone a combined 79-19 in the regular season and playoffs, a winning percentage of .806. He has taken the team to four Super Bowls in five years and won three of them. He has thrown 201 touchdown passes against 53 interceptions, posting a quarterback rating of 100.2.
Now Brady is in the final year of his contract with the Patriots, a free agent-to-be for the first time in his career. Jarrett Stidham is the successor to both Brady and, in a sense, Jimmy G. There is still an ocean of football to be played, but we all know the best story line for all of New England at this season’s Super Bowl in what could be an American television production for the ages.
Tom vs. Jimmy, mentor and apprentice, live at Studio LIV.