Garoppolo: Strong preseason showing 'wasn't anything special'

Garoppolo: Strong preseason showing 'wasn't anything special'

FOXBORO - It must have been a relief.

Jimmy Garoppolo rolled to his right, completed a pass, and fell to the turf on his right shoulder. Then he got up.:


The play, which occurred in the second quarter of the Patriots preseason opener against Jacksonville, was nearly identical to the one in Week 2 last season that ended what was supposed to be his four-game audition as a starter.

There was one important distinction between the two plays: No one drove Garoppolo into the Gillette Stadium surface the way Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso did about 11 months ago. Still, Garoppolo flashed back to that game and that moment as he picked himself up off the ground to face the Jaguars defense for another down Thursday night.

"I actually, as I popped up from it, we completed it and I actually thought about that," he said. "So, yeah, just kind of a confidence boost, but just making sure the shoulder’s all good. It felt good tonight."

It showed. He went 15-for-18 from that point on with two touchdowns, and he finished the game 22-for-28 for 235 yards and no interceptions.

He was accurate. He made good decisions. He ran a clean operation, particularly during a well-oiled two-minute drill to end the first half. And he bounced back from two big hits from Jags defensive end Yannick Ngakoue on New England's first two drives of the game.

"As a quarterback, you’re in the red jersey all practice, so getting that first hit out of the way – I know it sounds weird – but it’s a nice feeling," Garoppolo said. "Take the hit and bounce back from it. You know, I think the O-line did a great job. I messed up a couple times with them and hurt them, but overall, those guys did a real good job up front."

For the better part of the past two weeks, Garoppolo was less-than-stellar in Patriots training camp practice. He readily admitted it. He readily acknowledged that this has now been a trend for just about each of the past four summers.

He's not sure why.

"It’s not on purpose," he insisted Thursday. "I don’t know. I try to go out there and practice well every day with the guys. I mean, you’re trying different things in practice sometimes. You’re working with different guys. But, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s really a rhyme or reason to it. It’s football at the end of the day."

Garoppolo smiled as he spoke. He didn't seem like a player who needed a well-played preseason game to feel good about himself. After two weeks of at-times strange practice performances, two weeks of talking heads wondering what was up with his, he did not appear overly satisfied by what he'd done.

His night probably went about how he hoped it would. It sounded like it went about how he expected it would.

"We went out there and executed, really," he said of his second quarter. "I mean, it wasn’t anything special."

There was no relief in his voice, and in that way, he's been consistent. Even with alarm bells going off around him since camp began, he has never seemed concerned. Probably because he knows who he is, in the same way, his team does.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official


Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.