This has been the week of Jimmy Garoppolo with the quarterback returning to New England to face his former team.
The 2017 trade has been revisited at length over the last few days with some believing the Patriots should not have traded him. The counter is the Super Bowl LIII win over the Rams might not have happened if the trade occurred.
But, NBC Sports' Chris Simms believes the Patriots would have won a Super Bowl with Garoppolo under center.
"I'd probably say yes," Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area. "The New England Patriots, it's bigger than Tom Brady. When Tom Brady wasn't playing, they were 14-6 without him, so it's not like that team would have fell off planet Earth. In the year that Brady served his four-game suspension for Deflategate, Garoppolo was phenomenal in the first two football games. He really was. So, yes, I would say yes, and of course we see how close he got last year and all of that. But they drafted him to be the heir apparent for Tom Brady. There's no doubt about that.
"When they drafted him in the 2014 draft, in the years prior to that -- in 2011, '12, '13 -- Tom Brady was very average. They didn't draft Jimmy Garoppolo because they were like, 'Brady's still the best quarterback in football, let's draft Garoppolo just to sit on the bench for five years.' No, they drafted him because they were going, 'Damn, is this the end with Tom Brady?' And Brady really straightened out his throwing motion and a lot of issues he had in his game that people didn't notice in 2014 and kind of reinvented himself, to then they got to the point where like, 'Wait, Brady's still good here. We don't need him anymore' -- Jimmy Garoppolo, that is. And that's how he ended up in San Francisco."
The Patriots will host the 49ers Sunday at 4:25 p.m.