The education of Garoppolo continues Sunday when the Miami Dolphins travel to face the Patriots. This will mark Garoppolo’s second career start and first at Gillette Stadium while future Hall of Famer Tom Brady serves his four-game suspension.
Garoppolo had a quality first start, with 264 passing yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 106.1.
“Very poised young man,” Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said of Garoppolo. “Obviously he has had a lot of work underneath that system and he understands what he needs to get done. In my opinion, he doesn’t want to go out there and make any mistakes, and he went out there and accomplished that.”
The Dolphins’ defense is coming off an impressive performance in last week’s 12-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Miami battered and frustrated Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson, who was hit nine times, sacked three times and threw an interception.
Suh led the charge with four tackles, a sack and three quarterback hits on Wilson. What’s more impressive is the Dolphins got pressure using mostly a four-man rush.
“At the end of the day, we have to make sure we go in there and get him rattled,” Suh said of Garoppolo. “Get him moving around, get him off his spot and make him uncomfortable."
If the first game is an indication, the Patriots appear more balanced and reliant on the run without Brady. Their pass-to-run ratio with Garoppolo under center was 33-to-31.
New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is one of the best in the league at getting the most from his players. Last week the Patriots pulled off a gritty win against Arizona without their two best offensive players: Brady and Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“He’ll figure out a way that’s best for them this week,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of McDaniels. “He’s not going to do something that either the quarterback or somebody else can’t do. That’s what makes them so tough to go against, no matter who is playing on Sunday. They’re going to adjust to their personnel and figure out what’s best for that team and for that opponent they’re playing.”