Bill Belichick: Jimmy Garoppolo Made ‘Good, Quick Decision’ To End Half

Jimmy Garoppolo and the New England Patriots faced a difficult situation down by one with 53 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Patriots had just one timeout with the ball on the Green Bay Packers’ 49-yard line in their preseason opener Thursday night. Garoppolo completed his first pass for 9 yards to wide receiver Jonathan Krause, who scampered out of bounds, stopping the clock.

The Patriots had to waste their only remaining timeout on the next play, when running back James White took a shot to the knee on an incomplete pass and had to be helped off the field.

Garoppolo went to Krause again, who wisely ran out of bounds. The Patriots picked up 5 yards on the next play, but had five seconds run off the clock on a Packers offsides penalty.

Garoppolo took a shot deep to Josh Boyce down the right sideline but missed his mark for an incompletion. Garoppolo then ate a sack on the next play, losing 7 yards and forcing the Patriots to clock the ball, leaving four seconds for a 56-yard field goal attempt from Stephen Gostkowski. The Patriots kicker drilled it, and New England took a two-point lead into halftime of its eventual 22-11 loss.

“I thought all things considered, (Garoppolo) did a pretty good job with it,” head coach Bill Belichick said Friday morning. “We used all our timeouts in the first half. I used a couple of them on defense and then we lost another timeout right at the end of the half there where the trainers went out onto the field to look at James White.

“So, we didn’t have any timeouts, which that’s a whole (different) story. But given the fact we were out of timeouts with 20-some seconds — I forget what it was, like 25 seconds or something like that when he got sacked — we were trying to run a third down play, which we would have needed to get out of bounds on because we were out of timeouts. And then when the clock wound down and it was apparent that if we had snapped the ball and run a normal play, we probably would have run out of time, so we would’ve had to score a touchdown on the play or the half would have been over.

“I think Jimmy did a good job to recognize that situation. Whether we should or shouldn’t have been in it, that’s really not the point. The point is once it came up, I thought he handled it well. I thought it was (a) good, quick decision on his part to give us an opportunity to attempt a field goal at the end of the half. Steve came through on a 56-yard kick, but the other alternative would have been to snap the ball, run a play, and then the half would’ve been over. So he saved us three points on that.”

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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