5. Kordell Stewart
The 2001 Conference Championship Game was truly the first time that Bill Belichick ran across a dual-threat quarterback under the bright lights. Kordell Stewart was an up and down player for much of his career but once he was on, he was nearly impossible to stop.
In 2001, Stewart had finally put everything together. He was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl after throwing for 3,109 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also racked up 537 rushing yards and five scores for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite his dual capabilities, Belichick knew exactly what to do to put the clamps on him. The Patriots pressured Stewart heavily and forced him to make quick decisions. The end result was a disaster for the Steelers. Stewart finished the game with only 255 passing yards while completing just 24 of his 42 throws. He couldn’t get anything going on the ground either, ending the game with 41 rushing yards.
If we take away Stewart’s 34-yard burst on one play, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t have cracked 10 rushing yards on the ground.
Still, the Patriots won only 24-17. Had Stewart done anything of note, it could’ve been a very different game.