Patriots

How would Patriots have fared in 2020 if Stidham took over at QB?

Patriots

What if the low point in the New England Patriots’ 2020 season led to a major shakeup?

After watching Cam Newton throw three interceptions on 15 attempts against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, Bill Belichick finally sent in backup Jarrett Stidham for fourth-quarter mop-up duty in the 33-6 loss.

Belichick returned to Newton the following week, however, and started the veteran quarterback in the team’s final 10 games as New England sputtered to a 7-9 record.

What If Wednesday: Simulating Cam Newton's 2021 season with two elite tight ends

But let’s imagine an alternate universe in which Stidham takes over as the Patriots’ starter after Week 7. Would he finally thrive in a starting role or confirm the suspicions of critics who believe he’s not an NFL-ready QB?

Editors Note: Strat-O-Matic, the market leader in sports simulation, has partnered with NBC Sports Boston to build simulation experiences for "What If Wednesdays.” 

Our partners at Strat-O-Matic used their advanced simulation software to find out, playing out Weeks 8 through 17 of the Patriots’ season with Stidham under center. The results were mixed, to say the least, but there’s an interesting upshot.

 

What if Jarrett Stidham took over as Patriots' starting QB in 2020?