Some pundits are speculating whether the Patriots should give backup QB Jarrett Stidham more reps down the stretch of the regular season.
As the season has worn on, it’s become increasingly apparent why Cam Newton spent as much time as he did on the open market waiting to be signed last offseason. While he looks as nimble and powerful as ever from a rushing standpoint, his accuracy as a passer has showed zero signs of improvement.
In fact, we’d also argue that Newton has regressed in that department. The 31-year-old quarterback is coming off one of his worst games of the season on Sunday vs Arizona, and the fact that it wasn’t unequivocally the lowlight of his year just speaks to how much he’s struggled in certain contests.
Well, in light of Newton’s inconsistency, Patriots insider Tom E. Curran threw a poll up on Twitter about whether the team should find out what it has in backup signal caller Jarrett Stidham by giving him more reps down the stretch, and you know what? We wholeheartedly abhor the suggestion.
Is this a serious question? Going full Sean Payton and giving two quarterbacks sizable reps on a weekly basis is a fundamentally awful idea. For starters, Newton is still adjusting to the Patriots compounded playbook. Taking him out for a drive or two in a game would do nothing but derail his confidence and effectiveness.
As for Stidham, well, what more do we need to see? The 2019 fourth-round pick is 11-of-23 (48.1%) for 124 yards and one touchdown compared to four interceptions in limited reps over his first two seasons. If you do the math, you’ll come to the realization that he’s getting intercepted on nearly 15% of his pass attempts.
There’s literally no reason to take snaps away from Newton, and hopefully this next tweet knocks some sense into the pundits and fans who actually think deploying a quarterback platoon will benefit the Patriots in the long run.
The rationale behind this debate, if you can even call it that, doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.
In normal circumstances, it would be impossible to make a full judgment about a QB’s potential with fewer than 30 pass attempts of evidence, but Stidham is unfortunately an outlier in that formula. His poise in the pocket is commendable, but his decisiveness and arm strength leave a lot to be desired at the professional level.
Barring injury, Newton should be given 100% of the snaps under center for the remainder of the season, and we honestly can’t believe this is a talking point, even after his forgettable performance in the WIN over Arizona this past Sunday.