Unless Brady gets injured, these exhibition games are probably Garoppolo’s only chance before he is eligible for free agency at the end of the season to show other teams he can play.
Garoppolo was drafted in the second round in 2014 and has been stuck behind Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion who has shown no signs of slowing down at 40 years old. The backup’s big chance might have been last year, when Brady was suspended the first four games of the season, but Garoppolo only lasted five quarters before a shoulder injury knocked him out.
Third-string QB Brandon Allen hit Dede Westbrook from 42 yards out — victimizing Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones for another big play — to make it a two- touchdown game. “We weren’t expecting the touchdown, but everything worked out perfectly,” Westbrook said.
“ Coach always has us guessing,” the heir apparent said Thursday night after completing a Bradylike 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jaguars starter Blake Bortles completed 3 of 5 passes for 16 yards in two offensive series that resulted in one field goal. Henne came on with one play left in the first quarter and went 5 of 6 for 139 yards.
So this might be his best chance to show the Patriots — or another team that wants to trade for him — that he’s ready to be an NFL starter.
Patriots: Undrafted free agent tight end Jacob Hollister, taking advantage of extra playing time with Gronkowski out, caught seven passes for 116 yards, including a 38-yarder. Carr, an undrafted free agent from Northwestern, caught five passes for 44 yards, going high to bring down Garoppolo’s throw at the back of the end zone just before halftime.