If the Grinch were an NFL TV analyst talking about the Patriots QBs:
All the poise.. Oh, the poise, poise, poise poise...
Of the multitude of articles written over these past two weeks on the Patriots backup quarterbacks - both Jimmy G. and Jacoby B. - the one descriptor used more than any other is poise. Analysts have used it in their TV spots; Radio hosts and callers throw it around through the airwaves; Cable shows and podcasts say it... it's been everywhere. So much so, that the only way I can read or hear it now, is in that perfectly-irritated, Grinch-y voice (1966 cartoon version, of course). Who knows? Maybe when Brady's suspension is long over and he's once again standing at the podium holding the newly named "Bill Belichick Trophy", all of the media hate will be forgotten and forgiven, and their Grinch-y little hearts will grow three sizes that day.
Until then, it's Week 3 with the Patriots vs. Texans. At home, Thursday night. Which quarterback will start, or finish, is anyone's guess, but one thing I'm pretty sure of is that whoever it is, he will show plenty of poise.
Around the AFC East:
NY Jets (1-1) at Kansas City (1-1)
Miami (0-2) vs. Cleveland (0-2)
Buffalo (0-2) vs. Arizona (1-1)
Denver (2-0) at Cincinnati (1-1)
Baltimore (2-0) at Jacksonville (0-2)
Pittsburgh (2-0) at Philadelphia (2-0)
Tennessee (1-1) vs. Oakland (1-1)
San Diego (1-1) at Indianapolis (0-2)
1st - Frank Schwab (Shutdown Corner): Spoiler alert: If the Patriots lose either of the next two games with Jacoby Brissett or a banged-up Jimmy Garoppolo, they’re not going to be penalized here. They’ve proven their point. When Tom Brady comes back, they’ll be the best team in football. Again.
1st - Jenny Vrentas (The MMQB): All eyes will be on Brissett but more important to the Pats’ season goals is how the defense responds after letting the Fins claw back into the game last week.
1st - Cameron DaSilva (Fox Sports): Prior to his crushing shoulder injury, Jimmy Garoppolo was playing like an All-Pro. He completed his first eight passes and finished the game with three touchdown passes in the Patriots’ 31-24 win over the Dolphins. New England’s ranking hinges on his health the next two weeks.
1st - Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News): Jimmy Garoppolo's shoulder injury is the latest twist in the Deflategate aftermath, with rookie Jacoby Brissett needing to bat for the pinch-hitter. Don't assume Bill Belichick can't work through this one, too, but there’s early evidence to the contrary with a tough opponent ahead. This week: vs. Houston, Thursday.
1st - Chris Burke (SI): One of these days someone is going to steal from around Bill Belichick’s neck the amulet that gives him all his powers. Until then, the Patriots will remain perennial Super Bowl frontrunners. Have to start Jimmy Garoppolo in Arizona? No problem. Untested rookie Jacoby Brissett on a short week against Houston? The odds would normally be stacked against New England if Garoppolo can’t go, but bet against Belichick at your own peril.
1st - Experts (ESPN): Jimmy Garoppolo was rolling, but it appears it will be Jacoby Brissett's turn to run the Patriots' offense. Good news is that the Patriots host the Texans, a team they've lost to only once before ... in an essentially meaningless Week 17 game for the Patriots in the 2009 season.
Tied-1st - Staff (The AP Pro32).
2nd - Mark Maske (Washington Post): No Tom Brady? No matter. No Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo? That could be a different matter. Rookie QB Jacoby Brissett could take over as the starter Thursday night against the Texans with Brady still suspended and Garoppolo now hurt. If Bill Belichick can beat a playoff-caliber team on a short week with a rookie QB making his first NFL start, there will be no praise too lavish for his level of coaching genius.
2nd - Elliot Harrison (NFL.com): Small drop based on the current quarterback situation. Is it time to panic in New England? Probably not. Most Patriots fans would've told you back in July that they'd be fine going 2-2 in the four games without Tom Brady under center. Now, that's the worst they can do. So with Jimmy G out of the starting role for the time being, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, who is out there as an insurance policy to back up rookie Jacoby Brissett? Michael Vick? Tim Tebow? Dare I say Johnny Football? If Bill Belichick can revive that guy's career, then he's the best head coach in football history. Well, he might be anyway.
2nd - Lorenzo Reyes (USA Today): Talk about deep. After Jimmy Garoppolo went 2-0, they apparently have enough faith in No. 3 QB Jacoby Brissett to let him start minus a safety net.
2nd - Adam Stites (SB Nation): The Patriots good looked en route to a dominating win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but an injury to Jimmy Garoppolo gives reason to doubt the team for a couple weeks. In his absence, Jacoby Brissett wasn’t terrible and the Patriots leaned heavily on the running game, but the Dolphins came roaring back to almost pull off an incredible comeback. But Tom Brady will be back soon, so the Patriots look like they’re in good shape.
2nd - Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk): "Tom Brady isn’t walking through that door, men."
4th - Manish Mehta (NY Daily News): Bill Belichick might be a genius, but his team slides three spots after a win only because we’re not drinking the Evil Empire Kool-Aid here. Without Jimmy Garoppolo, the Pats are, well, screwed for the next two weeks. Jacoby Brissett will have three days to prepare for his first career start against the undefeated Texans in primetime. Good luck with that. Expect New England to continue to fall in the rankings until Tom Brady restores order in a few weeks.