Just when we all thought the infamous “Deflategate” was over, we’re blindsided as the NFL won the appeal which will see Tom Brady be suspended for the first 4 games of the 2016 NFL season – for real this time.
BREAKING: US Appeals court reinstates New England Patriots’ Tom Brady’s suspension over ‘deflategate’ – Reuters
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 25, 2016
This took place on Monday as the punishment was reinstated after a federal appeals court favored with the NFL. We all remember this penalty was supposed to be enforced this past season, all until Brady won the previous appeal. That would turn into a simple postponement.
Along with Brady’s suspension, the team was also fined $1M and lost their first round pick in this year’s draft.
Looking at New England’s early schedule, Brady will miss a road game against Arizona in the opening week, my NFC favorite, along with three home games against Miami, Houston and Buffalo in sequence. Two divisional games without Brady could prove to be huge. A matchup with J.J. Watt and the Texans rock-solid defense would look to be in Houston’s favor as well.
3rd year QB Jimmy Garoppolo will finally get his chance to prove himself as he will start in place of the suspended Brady. However, the Patriots may seek more insurance in the draft, or more likely go with a veteran such as Sam Bradford or the former Patriot Brian Hoyer who was recently released by Houston.
With Garoppolo under center, the Patriots face a tough schedule. Luckily, they’re the Patriots. Bill Belichick will still be manning the sideline, and the roster is still built very well. However, coming out on the road against a team like Arizona in week one is no easy task – the Cards should take that game quite easily. Divisional games are never easy to win, no matter the team, I see the Patriots splitting those between Miami and Buffalo. Then against an improved Houston squad that will feature J.J. Watt – I’m going with the Texans.
The Patriots will start 1-3 with Garoppolo during the 2016 season.