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Jimmy Garoppolo impresses for second straight week

08.16.14 at 1:49 am ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo hands off to Stevan Ridley Friday night against the Eagles. (Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo hands off to Stevan Ridley Friday night against the Eagles. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — For a rookie quarterback who hadn’€™t even been to an NFL game as a fan — yet alone play — prior to last week’€™s preseason opener with the Redskins, Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’€™t showed any sign of nerves as he had his second consecutive impressive performance Friday night against the Eagles at Gillette Stadium.

Playing five series’€™ following Tom Brady, Garoppolo went 6-for-12 throwing for 72 yards and two touchdowns, before handing the reigns over to Ryan Mallett for the second half.

“€œI felt good going into this game, had a good week of practice,” Garoppolo said. “Going against another team always brings out the competitive spirit in everyone, so I thought our whole team had a good week this week.”

Garoppolo came out on fire, as following a Tommy Kelly fumble recovery on the first play of the Eagles’€™ first drive of the game, the rookie led the Patriots on a four-play, 28-yard drive, topped with a 15-yard touchdown pass to fullback James Develin out of the backfield.

The second-round pick out of Eastern Illinois continued the momentum on the next drive leading the offensive on an impressive 13-play, 75-yard drive, which finished with a Brandon LaFell touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

The offense cooled off for the remaining three Garoppolo led drives — a few with penalties playing a large role — but overall it was the second of two good outings for the rookie.

“There’€™s plenty of stuff to correct. I’€™m still a rookie learning as we go,” Garoppolo said. “There is always going to be things to correct, but overall a good game and good to get a ‘€˜W.’€™’€

Last week against Washington, Brady didn’€™t play so Mallett played the first half and Garoppolo the second half. Things were different Friday as Garoppolo entered the game first.

This was a bit of a surprise to the rookie — something the team does to simulate what would happen during the regular season if an injury would to occur within the game.

“They kind of just threw me in there, it was kind of a last-minute thing,”€ Garoppolo said. “But you always have to be ready. Whenever the opportunity comes you have to take advantage of it.”

It wasn’€™t all about Garoppolo, though.

Overall, the offense was very successful with everyone contributing in the 42-point effort, which included 250 yards on the ground.

“We were clicking well tonight –€“ 250 yards rushing I think it was. As a whole, that’€™s great,” said Garoppolo. “It shows how we’€™re getting tougher as a group and those guys did a great job tonight.”

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