Two weeks ago, ESPN released a bombshell report on the situation of the Patriots. Essentially, the article summed up the “growing rift” between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Patriots Owner Robert Kraft. It started by looking at Brady’s trainer Alex Guerrero who was banned from the Patriots facility, then went on to look at Belichick’s coaching style and even hinted that this was the beginning of the end for one of the best managed sports (not just football) franchises in the world. The report also did include the trade with the 49ers in late October which sent backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a 2018 second round pick. This trade sent an avalanche through the sports world as everybody questioned the decision and the future of the starting QB position for the Patriots, especially since Jacoby Brissett was traded to Indianapolis before the season started.
What everybody hasn’t questioned, is that Bill Belichick was so confident in Brady that he sent Jimmy Garopollo to the 49ers for a 2nd rounder and intel on future playoff teams. Now before you close this tab, let’s really break down the situation.
Here is the schedule for the Niners after the Garoppolo trade.
Garopollo was traded right before the Niners played the Cardinals on November 5th. But let’s ignore the first few weeks, at least till bye week. Garoppolo did need to learn a new playbook and get used to throwing to his new team mates. Here is where it gets interesting.
Week 12 vs. Seahawks
49ers lose a heartbreaker to the Seahawks on the Thanksgiving week, but Jimmy didn’t play. BUT, interestingly, rookie QB C.J. Beathard is demoted and Jimmy is ruled a starter against Chicago, his hometown.
Week 13 @ Chicago
Belichick didn’t want his plan to be obvious, and Chicago had no chance in making the playoffs. However, Jimmy gets the his first victory against the struggling Bears and played well enough to stay as the starter against Houston.
Week 14 @ Houston
Surprisingly, a 4-8 Houston team still had a chance at playing the playoffs. But Belichick being a football guy among football guys, still wanted the film, because who knows, if the Texans win out, they would have played in the AFC Wild Card Game instead of the Titans and would have played the Patriots last week. Which brings us to…
Week 15 vs. Tennessee
The Titans were in the playoffs, not locked in, but holding on to the 5 seed, sitting at a 8-5 after Week 14. But they had to march into Levis Stadium and play the Niners sitting at a 2 game win streak and winners 3 of 5 since the arrival of Jimmy. And yet again, Jimmy showed Belichick how to play the Titans defense. The Titans were torched for 381 yards in the air as the Niners beat the Titans for their 3rd straight win. How did Belichick make use of this game tape may you ask? Well since Garopollo was trained under the tutelage of Brady, Belichick knew the Titans would attack Brady the same way, if the Patriots played the Titans in the playoffs. If you look at the stats from last Saturday, Brady went 35/53 for 337 yards and 3 scored as the Patriots torched Tennessee 35-14 to make it to their 7th straight conference championship.
Week 16 vs. Jacksonville
If you got this far, might as well keep going.
Patriots play Jacksonville for the AFC Champion this Sunday. But in Week 16, the Jags had to travel to Santa Clara and play the 49ers. And Jimmy was victorious, yet again, beating the Jaguars and the league’s best passing defense 44-33. Jimmy smoked the Jags for 241 yards and 2 scores and added one more 3 yard scamper on the ground. At this point the trade was paying off for Belichick. He now had film for 3 teams that had chances for the playoffs, well 2 teams, Houston no longer had a chance to make the playoffs.
Week 17 @ Rams
As week 17 rolled around, Belichick was pretty content with himself. Jimmy had showed him how to beat 2 playoff teams. The Niner’s were also happy as they were now on a 4 game win streak. Win-Win. The Rams were guaranteed to make the playoffs and sat their starters this game. That didn’t stop Belichick from watching Jimmy play on New Year’s Eve. Although the players had changed, the Ram’s defensive schemes stayed the same and that’s all that mattered. (Belichick, as we all have grown to know, does nothing but watch film, eat and coach the Patriots.) Jimmy G. threw for nearly 300 yards and 2 more scores, exposing the Ram’s defense. Rams had a chance to meet the Patriots in Minneapolis for the Superbowl, but lost during wild card weekend.
Bottom line is, Belichick now has intel on future playoff matchups. We have already seen one of the intelligence reports at work last week against the Titans. We have another chance against Jacksonville this week. The Pats have the propensity to mess around in the NFL playoffs, ex #deflategate, so it really isn’t hard to believe that some sort of collusion has occurred between the Patriots and their ex QB Jimmy Garoppolo, allegedly. What do you think? Tweet @thelastsnap_ to discuss.
NOTE: This is satire. Hopefully you, the reader, understands that.