The Patriots host the Texans tonight at Gillette Stadium, and the big story all week has been which QB will start for New England: injured Jimmy Garoppolo or rookie Jacoby Brissett? Garoppolo, of course, injured his throwing shoulder Sunday against Miami.
According to NFL Media, Brissett will get the start tonight, with Garoppolo dressing and serving as the backup. "The Patriots will not dial down the offense for Brissett and feel like he has the arm to run the offense," asserts a story on NFL.com.
New England officially listed Garoppolo as Doubtful for the Houston contest. Meanwhile, wide receiver Julian Edelman could still be in the mix as the emergency QB. An ESPN blog post gets a scouting report on Edelman as a quarterback from the player's father.
"Jules played through a sprained AC joint in high school, and Ben Roethlisberger played with it last year in a playoff game," Frank Edelman is quoted. "I thought Brissett played pretty well last week. I mean, Jules could play a quarter or so and hang in there, and if anyone can do it, the Patriots can. I just don't see it."
But what if Edelman does end up taking snaps at QB? CSNNE.com examines that possibility.
Meanwhile, a *Boston Globe *column examines the idea of the Patriots pulling off yet another win with an unproven passer under center.
"For his next trick," the piece begins, "the great Hooded Houdini [Bill Belichick] will try to win an NFL game with a third-string rookie quarterback making his first start, a quarterback whose one good shoulder isn't the one he uses to throw the football, or a college quarterback converted to wide receiver converted back to quarterback."
*The Providence Journal *has a story on the need for the Patriots defense to step up tonight, plus a poignant feature on DL Anthony Johnson, who survived Hurricane Katrina to become an NFL player.
"I'll never forget it," Johnson recalled. "The day of the storm, my mom ran into the house and was like, 'Get up!' Get up! Get up!' and it was early in the morning. I had a pet pit bull at the time, but I also had a stuffed animal and I was sleeping with my stuffed animal pit bull. I grabbed my pit bull and my cover and I ran out the door. That's all I had."
Another ESPN post predicts that the New England rushing attack could be an overlooked option against Houston tonight.
"People have asked me over the last couple of days about the quarterback position, but I think that one of the keys is how they've been able to run the football," Texans coach Bill O'Brien asserts. "Very physical upfront."
Elsewhere, the *Boston Herald *focuses on long-time Patriots DT and co-captain Vince Wilfork's return to Foxborough in an opposing uniform tonight.
We'll end for now where we started, on the Patriots' QB position. A WEEI.com column looks at the future and an important decision the team must make between Garoppolo and Tom Brady.
"It shouldn't even be a decision, frankly," the writer explains. "In a vacuum, no team would choose a 41-year-old -- even a Hall of Famer with four Super Bowls -- over a 26-year-old with top-10 potential at the most important position on the field. You thank Brady for his service, rename Route 1 in his honor, plaster his face on every lighthouse in New England, and hope he finishes his career in the NFC.
It's not that simple, of course."