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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Patriots Hot Start Validates Fan’s Hope

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With all the excitement that occurs going into a New England Patriots season, the Pats finally got down on the field and started their bid towards another Super Bowl. This season hasn’t begun without its controversy, but that hasn’t deterred one of the league’s most passionate fan bases from rooting for their team at all. The big story going into the game was that it would be the first of the four games that the Patriots would have to play without Tom Brady. Jimmy Garoppolo would be under center for the Pats, and to make his job even more difficult, he would be without tight end Rob Gronkowski and left tackle Nate Solder. Just for good measure, the Patriots were playing last season’s NFC runner-up, The Arizona Cardinals. Long story short, things were not looking good for New England going into this game.
However, despite being the underdogs, New England came out incredibly strong right from the jump. An early TD from Garoppolo to wide receiver Chris Hogan really established control for the Patriots, and they never really lost it after that. In the end, New England won 23-21 on a missed field goal by Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro. The real thing to take out of this game is how well New England played despite various outside pressures. This was the game many thought the Patriots would lose; but despite all of the outside beliefs, a young quarterback that had never started an NFL game before played incredibly and made all the right plays down the stretch for the team. In addition to Garoppolo’s excellent play, the New England defense did exactly what they had to do to stop the league’s best offense last season. The defense was very good at opposing the deep threat from Arizona, forcing them to throw underneath, something they are very uncomfortable with. This essentially limited Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer to only throwing to Larry Fitzgerald, who was very effective, but still couldn’t do the entire offense justice.
Overall, this game was an extremely strong start to a season that had a lot of question marks. Entering this game, virtually nobody picked the Patriots to win, but they still found a way to do so because of a strong game plan and a strong performance from a young quarterback. Some expected Garoppolo to do well, but nobody truly believed just how good he was until it unfolded right before their eyes in this game. With the next three games of Brady’s suspension all at home, and two against division opponents they defeated last season, New England should feel very confident about the shape they’ll be in when the messiah of Foxboro returns in Week Five.