The New England Patriots went from having undeniably the best quarterback situation in the AFC East, to having undeniably the worst quarterback situation in the matter of one offseason. Losing a 42-year-old Tom Brady isn’t the end of the world — but trying to replace him with a huge unknown in Jarrett Stidham gives the fans a right to be concerned.
After watching the tape and reviewing the stats, it’s fair to have some concerns if you’re a Patriots fan. Simply put, Stidham isn’t ready to be a franchise quarterback.
It’s hard to tell if that’s how Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization even views Stidham, or if they just see him as a stopgap quarterback while they try to rebuild. Nevertheless, all signs are pointing towards him being the man under center for at least the 2020 season.
Based off Stidham’s very limited action in his rookie season — four passes, two completions for 14 yards, one sack and one interception — it’s impossible to project what he may actually look like as the starting quarterback.
With the being said, Stidham’s college tape and stats can provide a glimpse into what he may become in the NFL. During his final year at Auburn, Stidham finished with 18 passing touchdowns to just five interceptions, while completing about 60% of his passes and throwing for 2,794 yards.
That’s not a terrible stat line, but it’s not anything to write home about. When we take a deeper look into the stats and Stidham’s production, the red flags start to pop up for the Patriots.
According to Pro Football Focus, Stidham attempted 152 passes while throwing in rhythm with no pressure during his final college season. Only about 50% of those throws were deemed accurate, according to PFF’s metrics. 28.7% of those throws were ruled ‘uncatchably inaccurate,’ meaning they weren’t even close to the intended receiver.
There’s still hope for Stidham, he can’t be written off completely without being given a fair opportunity. His year behind the most accomplished quarterback of all time should serve him well in the long run — but another year or two behind Brady would’ve left Stidham in a much better position than he’s in right now.