The Patriots tried both Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham on Monday night, and both men played like rookies.
The final score of Monday night’s undermanned Patriots-Chiefs tilt won’t tell the full story of the watching experience, but unfortunately, it does accurately reflect the contest, as well as what we learned.
Pats fans realized once again that NFL games against heavy favorites are, well, hard to win. And they’re four quarters long. And sometimes, though he’s often the most popular man in town in many downtrodden football cities, the backup quarterback might not be competent or the answer.
Even if there’s two of them.
Whether it was caretaker Brian Hoyer or pre-Cam QB of the Future Jarrett Stidham, neither man looked particularly adept at the finer points of the position.
Though it’s hard to harshly judge Stidham, thrown directly into the fire after battling injury concerns and a demotion in the season’s first few weeks, he certainly didn’t give us much to lean on for postgame justification (unless you believe his magic rubbed off on the handoff).
Hoyer, though, we expected more from. At the very least, we were assured that the 2009 UDFA would run the offense with poise if not panache, brought in this offseason specifically for comfort purposes.
Instead, he often made decisions that were just as poor as the man who relieved him, responsible for a number of, “Oh, you can do anything but that right now!” fumbles and overthrows. Hoyer’s performance was a misfire not because we expected the moon, but because we expected stability, and did not receive it as the defense continued to hold things down.
5-for-13 with two picks (one for six) for Stidham in relief.
15-of-24 with a lost fumble and an interception for the heady veteran, who was supposed to know better.
Patriots fans know Cam Newton will be back, possibly as soon as Week 5 against the Broncos. They also knew this game wouldn’t be any semblance of easy, even with Bill Belichick as the type of underdog he loves to embody.
But still, through three quarters, it seemed like the defense had done enough. Unfortunately, they hadn’t pulled out enough tricks to account for both Stidham and Hoyer, who are still all even on the wrong side of the spectrum.