The Patriots have been known for the past decade to have a stifling defense, even when they are giving up yardage. They seem to come up with a big play or a big stop when needed, rendering all the yardage gained against them meaningless. Rookie quarterbacks have had it particularly tough, due largely in part to the various looks and changes the Patriots throw at their opponents. The Patriots are 7-2 against rookie quarterbacks in the Belichick Era. The Cleveland Browns, who host the Pats Sunday, will likely be starting rookie QB Colt McCoy. Both Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace have yet to practice and will likely be out Sunday. McCoy is 1-1 as a starter, losing to the Steelers in his first start and then beating the Super Bowl Champion Saints in his second start. He has 355 passing yards, with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.
McCoy faces a stiff challenge, trying to outgun Tom Brady and the Patriots. The defense has been improving and opportunistic, getting turnovers and making stops at key times. The Browns overall are lacking play makers on offense, which will make McCoy’s job a little harder. Couple that with the fact that he will have to outscore a tough Brady-led offense, and his record as a starter may go to 1-2. McCoy is a smart player who can move around and take the short and intermediate passing routes, which at times have sliced the Pats’ defense, so it will not be easy. Being a big Longhorns fan, I’ve seen what Colt McCoy can do. Unfortunately for him, the odds are not in his favor this week.