Tom Brady’s actions will cost the New England Patriots his services for the first four games of the 2015 NFL season. In addition the Patriots will surrender a 2016 first round draft pick and 2017 fourth round pick as well as pay $1 million. While the money isn’t too much for a franchise that has dominated the NFL over the past decade and a half, the draft cost and lost playing time could hurt the Patriots as they hope to continue their consistent control over the NFL.
More importantly for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys, the start of the season just became a bit easier. The Patriots are a formidable team, but facing them without Tom Brady at quarterback makes it a bit more palatable. The Steelers, Bills, and Cowboys all have playoff hopes for 2015 so the suspension could be critical as they fight for all of the tough wins they’ll need to get to the top of their divisions.
The Jaguars are the odd man out in that they likely will still have a very, very tough game against the Patriots regardless of who is playing quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo was a second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and is expected to start for the start of the 2015 season. The Patriots have succeeded with backup quarterbacks before, elevating the likes of Matt Cassel to starter status despite only one season with the Patriots under his belt. Garoppolo can play, make no mistake, and he’ll do his best to make sure the Patriots offense doesn’t miss a beat against the Jaguars.
While it is always good to go against a team at full strength, it is tough to ignore the fact that the Jaguars-Patriots game just became a much less imposing matchup now that Brady won’t be under center. Hopefully the Jags can come away with a surprise win, but Bill Belichick may find plenty of ways to exploit a young team like the Jags even without his future Hall of Fame quarterback.
More from Black and Teal
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Bold trade proposal has Jacksonville Jaguars shipping LT Cam Robinson
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”