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News Blitz 9/12: A Jimmy Garoppolo-led Patriots opening night upset

The script may have been very different, but the results Sunday night in Arizona were exactly what's come to be expected of Bill Belichick's Patriots.

New England had all the reasons and excuses in the world to open up the 2016 season with a road loss.

Instead, Jimmy Garoppolo's first NFL start saw the young quarterback lead the Patriots to an impressive 23-21 victory to secure first place in the AFC East after a week of action, even with Tom Brady in the midst of his four-game Deflategate suspension.

The Boston Globe says that Garoppolo "played his role to perfection," looking anything but an inexperienced newcome to the big stage. Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy says that even without Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the supposed tough spot of opening night was no problem. Fellow columnist Chris Gasper writes that while playing without Brady was supposed to be a punishment for the Patriots, it didn't work.

ESPNBoston.com also looks at the line, with praise for Camerson Fleming stepping in at left tackle for an injured Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon putting forth a less impressive performance at right tackle. ESPNBoston.com declares that the latest Patriots win is a clear reflection on Belichick's greatness as a coach. The site also notes that while Garoppolo's playing time will be only for a limited time, the young quarterback's talent is of the lasting variety.

After just one game NFL.com declares that Garoppolo proved the Patriots "can thrive under his stewardship."

USA Today that as depleted as they were on Sunday night, the Patriots proved their system is as strong as ever.

Lost in the news of the game, suspended defensive end Rob Ninkovich reached a one-year contract extension with the Patriots on Sunday, as reported by ESPN. 

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