The Patriots want to run the fake bubble screen with the two vertical routes (yellow circles). Pump to the bubble, draw the defensive backs downhill and target the seam or outside fade to move the sticks. It’s not there. But instead of panicking (as we see often from young quarterbacks), Garoppolo calmly maneuvers in the pocket to find an open lane and continues to keep his eyes down the field. This allows Garoppolo to reset his feet/platform and hit Amendola when the wide receiver separates across the field. And the quarterback takes a shot too after throwing this ball. It was a big-time play to move the sticks and continue to drive.
Look, I want quarterbacks who battle, guys who show up in critical moments of the game. Yes, this is only one play. And I get that. But given the situation — down in the fourth quarter and needing a play to continue the drive — I love Garoppolo’s ability to manage the chaos and find a way to advance the sticks against a very good defense.
NFL: NFC Divisional-Green Bay Packers at Dallas CowboysNFL: NFC Divisional-Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
The Bills could release their two most important offensive players thanks to big guarantees tied to the 2017 season. McCoy cemented his place as one of the league’s top tailbacks after running for 5.4 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns, while Taylor earned his second straight Pro Bowl invitation — though that may be more a condemnation of the AFC’s roster than the quarterback’s strength. At cap hits of $8.875 million and $15.9 million, respectively, the pair could prove too expensive for a new regime in upstate New York.
Buffalo could mitigate losing its starting running back by handing his duties over to Mike Gillislee, who was the only qualified player in the league to have a better yards-per-carry average than McCoy. Replacing Taylor would be tougher. The team could turn to Cardale Jones instead, but the former Ohio State standout looked every bit a rookie in his lone appearance last fall.