Image C/O: Brian Fluharty
For the first time in twenty years, the New England Patriots have officially started week five with a losing record. An entire generation of New England fans have lived in an era of constant wins, so none of them knew how to react in a time like this. With a dynasty that has won six National Championships since 2002, how can Belichick leave his team so unprepared?
Three Words: Shitty, Draft, Picks. It all began four years ago when the Patriots traded their star back up QB Jimmy Garoppolo. After he was traded, Brian Hoyer took Jimmy G’s spot. His sole purpose in New England was to mentor the younger, inexperienced Jarrett Stidham who was coming right out of Auburn University. Unfortunately, having little time to prepare for the going away of Tom Brady, Stidham was unprepared for the 2020 season. Due to this the Patriots picked up Cam Newton, a washed up MVP quarterback that no team in the league wanted. Cam showed promise in the week two game against the Seattle Seahawks, throwing 30 completions for 397 yards with 1 passing touchdown and rushing for a New England record of 47 yards with 2 rushing touchdowns. Unfortunately, he lost his rhythm a week later after getting COVID-19 and not being able to play in one of the most important games against the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
With Cam Newton out of commission, the Patriots threw in veteran quarterback Brain Hoyer who did not play to the best of his ability resulting in Stidham getting tossed into the game. Due to this, Jared Stidham showed how poorly prepared he was for the 2020 season. The Patriots have had franchise quarterback Tom Brady for two decades and allowed their backup quarterbacks to be unequipped to play that the game was actually too hard to watch. A franchise so disciplined and elite as the Patriots have been in the past 20 years should never have allowed this to happen.
The Patriots could have drafted Jaylen Hurtz out of Oklahoma, Jake Fromm from Georgia or Jordan Love out of Utah State but decided to keep their 2019 fourth round pick Jared Stidham. Were these ill prepared draft picks or one of Belichick’s master plans? As Patriots fans know, Belichick is known for his late draft picks becoming superstars, drafting Tom Brady in the sixth round as his one hundred and ninety-ninth overall pick. Will Jared Stidham's fate be the same as Tom’s? Only time will tell.