The biggest winner from Jimmy Garoppolo’s breakout campaign won’t be the quarterback himself. It’s going to be his offensive coordinator.
The Pats are going to go 4-0 with Jimmy G at QB and just like the last time the Pats had a backup shine on the big stage (when Matt Cassel went 11-5 after Tom Brady went down), the biggest beneficiary will be offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels is a stud head coach waiting to happen, he is one of the best schemers in the game, and he is more than ready for another shot running a team. By the time October rolls around and other teams are more smitten with Garopppolo than ever — the Pats are too smart to trade him; he is the heir apparent to Brady — New England is going to be undefeated and McDaniels will be heavily sought after come January.
He is a master at finding ways to put skill players in a position to succeed and he’s learned from his mistakes in Denver and he’s more humble for it. Just watch what he does with this novice quarterback the next three weeks. It’s going to be gnarly.
More news and notes from around the NFL:
It’s time for Jason Garrett and the Cowboys to assume some blame for the team’s awful record without Tony Romo. Adjust your scheme and the way you deliver the message to your quarterbacks, take better advantage of your offensive line and other strengths. Find a way to call a better game and scheme a better game plan. Because Dak Prescott looked better in the preseason than he did Week 1 and there has to be more of a point to get the ball to Dez Bryant on screens or end arounds or something and you can’t always blame the next guy up.
This is starting to look like a systemic problem, especially as yet another year goes on where other teams find ways to at least stabilize their seasons when a starter goes down. Of course, this also further establishes what I’ve long reported as well, which is that only fools and charlatans would “report” anything close to a changing of the guard at quarterback in Dallas. Romo is the man and will be to start next season as well.
New York Jets
The Jets defensive line is legit. I love how Steve McClendon is fitting in early on. I dare say he will be better than Damon Harrison was the last two years, at a small fraction of what Harrison cost on the open market. He has the look of another sage signing for the Jets.
The 49ers defensive line is going to be no joke from here on out. Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner will form a dominant duo and teams won’t be able to run on them. Now, opponents be able to chuck it around on the 49ers just fine over time (don’t read too much into those inept Rams in Week 1) and the 49ers are not going to run it as well as they did in the opener, but they are definitely improved and those two kids are the biggest reason why.
Tough sledding for backs
Talk about a very slow start for ball carriers around the league. I’d have some serious concern for Adrian Peterson being the same dominant guy he’s always been in Minnesota (check the last six regular season games for him) and Todd Gurley will be hard-pressed to duplicate his heroics against stacked boxes every week. Reaching 100 yards was a bear of an accomplishment in Week 1.
Only the Texans (Lamar Miller against the hapless Bears) and the Steelers (backup DeAngelo Williams with Le’Veon Bell still suspended) had a 100-yard rusher in Week 1. The league average in yards per carry was a scant 3.9 yards per carry in Week 1 — historically it’s around 4.1 — and if there is a team that manages to run the ball far above and beyond the mean (I’d put my money on Pittsburgh and eventually Dallas) then I’d bank on those teams being factors come Winter.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Jimmy G makes McDaniels look great, Cowboys look dumb again, NFL notes