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.
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.