July 27, 2017

Riding the Bench: The Osweiler Effect

sports-column

By Jacob Hevenor ’17

Sports Editor

Last season, the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning’s struggles gave backup QB Brock Osweiler his big break. Osweiler played relatively well and, in the offseason, signed an absolutely huge four-year, $72 million contract with the Houston Texans. In two games in Houston, he’s been the essence of mediocrity.

 

Temporary starter Jimmy Garoppolo led the Patriots to an upset win over the powerhouse Cardinals in Week 1, and obliterated the Dolphins’ defense in the first half of Week 2. So what?

 

Garoppolo was steady and efficient against the Cardinals (24-33, 264 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT) and outright dynamic against the Dolphins (18-27, 234 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT in just one half). So lo and behold, Jimmy G’s bandwagon is already getting a little crowded. It amazes me that just two weeks ago, experts all over SportsCenter and NFL Network were claiming that Jimmy G didn’t have what it would take. He was too slow releasing the ball; he couldn’t maneuver in the pocket.

 

Now, however, those same experts are wooed.

 

“He’s shown he’s a quality NFL starter,” they say, “And the Patriots will go 4-0 under him.” What they overlook is that Garoppolo is stepping into a winning culture–a team with seemingly endless depth and elite management; this is a prime environment for success.

 

Coming out of a four-game suspension, Tom Brady will be fresher than his opponents,

filled with hatred for the league that sat him down, and chomping at the bit to prove that he’s still

got it. In other words, it’s likely that Jimmy G will not continue as the Patriots’ starter. But if he

wins games, the Patriots could potentially get an enormous return for him if he’s “shipped off” to a quarterback-less team.

 

As teams in the last few years have become increasingly desperate for a franchise quarterback (see: Goff, Jared, or worse, Manziel, Johnny), the price for Garoppolo could be pushed astronomically high.

 

Garoppolo to me is Brock Osweiler 2.0: play a few games for a great team and bam! You look like a franchise QB. Just get a desperate team in need of a quarterback to fork out tens of millions for you. Then roll in the cash and laugh as everyone realizes that hey, maybe you’re not so great of a quarterback.

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