New England Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gave his best performance of the preseason in Saturday night’s 26-24 win over the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Garoppolo completed 28 of 33 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He helped the Patriots overcome deficits of 15-0 and 22-11 with five scoring drives, including four in the second half. His only mistake was a poor interception in the third quarter, but he didn’t let it negatively affect him.
Garoppolo wasn’t sacked once and had a lot of time to stand in the pocket and go through his reads to find the open receiver. His offensive line deserves a lot of credit for that, and the second-year QB was appreciative of their performance.
“The O-line did a tremendous job (Saturday),” Garoppolo said, via Patriots.com. “I barely got touched, I feel a lot better than last weekend. It’s a team effort, we all went out there and made the plays when our number got called, and everyone was doing their job, really.”
He later added: “I wanted to get the ball out quickly. Last week, the pressure got to me a little bit. It’s never good to get sacked or hit that many times. I wanted to get it out quickly and have a more productive game than last week.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also saw some improvement from Garoppolo, who’s received most of the snaps in the preseason with Tom Brady potentially having to sit out the first four games of the regular season because of his four-game suspension.
“He had a chance on a lot of complete passes. He threw the ball pretty accurately, a lot different than last week,” Belichick said. “There really wasn’t a lot of pressure on the quarterback tonight and that’s always a good thing for the passing game. I mean, there were some good things and, obviously, things we need to improve on everywhere.
“I thought overall offensively, once we got going we were able to move the ball a little bit, score some points, get in the end zone, kick a couple field goals, got some first downs, convert some third downs. Those were some good things there.”
The Patriots now will prepare to take on the Carolina Panthers next Friday at Bank of America Stadium. The third preseason game usually is treated like a dress rehearsal for the regular season, with the starters playing into the second half.
It will be an important game for Garoppolo and the entire Patriots offense — a unit searching for consistency before Week 1 arrives.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images