Jimmy Garoppolo followed up on his stunning opening-night win over the Cardinals with a sizzling start against the Dolphins. On the Patriots' first three offensive series, Garoppolo completed 14 of 17 pass attempts to five different receivers. He averaged 11.5 yards per pass.
And, oh yeah, he also threw a touchdown on every one of those drives.
In a Tom Brady-esque start, Garoppolo shredded the Dolphins. All three of the Patriots' drives spanned at least 75 yards and they were all led by their fill-in quarterback.
His first touchdown, a 12-yard pass to Danny Amendola, was less about the actual throw and more about his movement within the pocket. With a pass rusher coming around the edge, Garoppolo wisely stepped up to buy time for Amendola to get to the other side of a Dolphins linebacker. From there, it was an easy throw and Amendola did the rest.
As you can see below, Amendola wasn't open when Garoppolo finished his dropback.
But when Garoppolo stepped up, Amendola drifted to his left with the linebackers eyeing an approaching Garoppolo. Without Garoppolo's movement, Amendola likely doesn't get so open.
Garoppolo's second touchdown came on a dart to tight end Martellus Bennett up the seam.
It's really not fair that the Patriots can be without Rob Gronkowski and still trot out a No. 1 tight end like Bennett in his absence. It's also not going to be fair when the two monster tight ends are on the field at the same time.
Garoppolo capped his hot start with another touchdown to Amendola, this time a 10-yard strike on third-and-4.
A quarterback controversy involving Brady still won't happen, but Garoppolo is playing well enough that it's tough to see the Patriots trading him away. Brady is 39 years old and, based on Garoppolo's first game and a half as an NFL starter, he might just be worthy of becoming Brady's successor.