Should the Patriots Take a Chance With Jarrett Stidham this season?

Published 12/12/2020, 10:21 AM EST

The New England Patriots have a quarterback problem. Following their split with Tom Brady, former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was brought in to fill the enormous shoes of the future Hall of Famer.

Now that was never going to be an easy task for Cam, but no one expected it to be this hard either. Cam has struggled throughout the season to make the Patriots’ offense tick.

Having thrown barely 5 touchdowns over the course of the season, the former Pro Bowler has registered more interceptions (10) than touchdowns. A stat that speaks volumes of just how poorly Cam has performed for the Patriots thus far.

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The 2015 MVP-winning Cam Newton looks to be a thing of the past. Many, however, remain divided over Cam’s abilities on the pitch. But then again, this begs the question, if not Cam, then who?

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Backup’s time to shine

With the Patriots tugging a misfiring Cam along, the world’s focus automatically shifted to the backups. While Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham aren’t household names, many feel they should get a shot at starting a game for the Pats, especially the latter.

Dec 6, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) and quarterback Jarrett Stidham (4) celebrate after a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Stidham, who was drafted by the Pats last year, is yet to get a full game under his belt. And so far, with the limited opportunities he’s got, he hasn’t quite seemed like the Patriots’ knight in shining armor.

With a pass completion rate of 54.5% when called on to replace Cam in the pocket, the second-year quarterback has failed to impress throwing 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Belichick’s reluctance to experiment 

With the Pats looking set to miss the Playoffs for the first time since 2008, Coach Belichick and the Patriots’ management will have a lot of work to do in the off-season.

Belichick made it crystal clear during a recent presser that he has no intention to bench Cam just yet. But with the regular season coming to an end and a playoff spot looking ever so unlikely, one could make the case for Stidham.

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Sure, he’s inexperienced and is yet to really prove that he’s got what it takes to lead the Patriots’ offense, but in his defense, he hasn’t received a proper shot at proving his mettle either.

Dec 10, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) throws a pass against Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

When the Patriots drafted Tom Brady back in the year 2000 with the 199th overall pick, no one expected the tall and lanky quarterback from the University of Michigan to be the household name that he is today.

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It was under the watchful eyes of Belichick that Brady blossomed into the colossal figure that he is today. Now, it is a bit of a stretch to call Stidham the new Tom Brady, but maybe, just maybe, Belichick could take a chance with the youngster and see what the future holds.

Do you think Cam Newton should remain the starting quarterback for the Patriots? Or is it time for Jarrett Stidham to finally get a shot?

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Vinayak

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